I’ve Got Canned Heat in My Heels Tonight, Baby

When I first saw Napoleon Dynamite, I wasn’t that impressed. Maybe I just didn’t get it, but the movie was more painful to watch than enjoyable — I think I just felt too embarrassed for Napoleon, Pedro, and Deb, who were so painfully awkward and strange. Of course, there were a few saving graces: “Girls like guys who have skills…”, Kip and LaFawnduh, “Pedro offers you his protection.”

But I have enjoyed the movie a lot more in retrospect than I did when I actually saw it. It started because of my brother, who does an amazing Napoleon impression. I can’t get enough of hearing him say, “A freakin’ 12-gauge, what do you think?!”, or “It’s pretty much my favorite animal. It’s like a lion and a tiger mixed… bred for its skills in magic.”

Hearing him recite these lines in his perfect angsty Napoleon voice makes me feel like the movie was actually much funnier than I thought it was the first time. And now I’m totally amused by this Napoleon Dynamite soundboard that Jason found; perhaps in large part because it reminds me of my crazy brother.

And this week, the state of Idaho is also recognizing the film and its writers for its positive impact on the state and the ways that it portrays local rural culture.