Movie Review – Pee Wee’s Big Holiday (2016)

Home on a Friday night watching a Netflix movie about a man-child.

Oh life, where did you go wrong?

BQB here with a review of Pee Wee’s Big Holiday.

Oh Pee Wee.  You could have been a contender.

Come to think of it, you were.  Like every Generation X kid, I too talked in your silly voice and did my take on your “Ha ha!” and “Argh!” and so on.

But then you just had to go and do…well what you did at that adult theater in 1991.

To this day, I’ve never really understood it.  Sure, perverts have it a lot better today, what with a vast cornucopia of pornography available thanks to the Internet (so I’ve heard) but even in the 1990s, people had VCRs to watch risqué movies on (again, so I’ve heard.)

Pee Wee.  Oh Pee Wee.  You weren’t like Mr. Rogers, trying to lecture us on morality or Sesame Street, trying to teach us shit.  You just invited us along to be silly and have a good time and you had to go and get yourself in trouble.

Eh.  Did it matter?  Two movies and a TV show, I’m not sure how much more Pee Wee the public could have tolerated.

Either way, he’s been in more movies (as Paul Reubens) and we’ve forgiven him.  (But Jesus Christ, even in the 1990s they had Playboys and Penthouses and Hustlers you could check out in the privacy of your own home so what the hell was he thinking? (Again, so I’ve heard.)

Pee Wee is back (because thanks to Netflix, everyone who had a hit twenty years ago is coming back for one last hurrah).

Did you know that Pee Wee is 63 years old?  I always thought he was younger for some reason.  Holy Shit.  He aged well.

The Plot – Pee Wee lives in Fairville and he is afraid to leave.  But then he meets Joe Manganiello (the actor from True Blood and Magic Mike, though if you’ve never heard of him, it is ok because Pee Wee hadn’t heard of him either.)

Yes, Joe plays himself.  Meta.

They learn they have a lot in common and become fast friends.  But Joe is worried that Pee Wee has lived such a sheltered life so he challenges our favorite man boy to trek across country to his birthday party in New York City.

That’s about it.  It’s a romp from there on, a series of skits as he gets in various predicaments along the way.  Bank robbing babes, snakes, Farmer’s daughters, and balloon loving Amish folk slow him down.

I have to admit I didn’t laugh as much as I thought I would.  I’m concerned this means maybe Pee Wee was never funny.  Maybe I just thought he was when I was a kid.

But then I recall Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and classic lines like, “There’s no basement at the Alamo” and how he called that spoiled Francis guy “France-ass” and the bikers and I laugh and laugh.  (“Paging Mr. Herman.  Mr. Herman.  You have a telephone call at the front desk.)

Eh.  Maybe there’s just few people around who understand/appreciate 1980’s humor enough to make a movie that lives up to the legend.

Anyway, it was cute but not as good as the original or Big Top Pee Wee, the sequel.

MAIN COMPLAINT:  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe he said “I know you are but what am I” to anyone in the entire film.  That’s his patented catch phrase.  Even those hacks at Fuller House knew they had to jam “Cut it out” and “How rude” and “Have mercy” into the first ten minutes.

Isn’t that the whole point of these TV shows/movies?  Long in the tooth actors grabbing one last pay day by placating adults who loved those actors when they were kids before the next generation of adults comes along and doesn’t give a shit?

“Look BQB.  That TV show/movie you liked as a child is still relevant…time isn’t passing you by…say the catchphrase!!!”

SIDENOTE: Pee Wee’s 63 but all his chicks in this movie are way younger.  Maybe because he’s just an ageless perpetually young guy…or maybe Hollywood couldn’t let him get with a 63 year old perpetually ageless female?

I don’t know.  Maybe I’m too much of a conspiracy theorist.  And to be fair, he does go on a flying car ride with a Katherine Hepburn type.

Not really shelf-worthy but if you haven’t seen them, I hope this inspires you to see his first two movies.

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8 thoughts on “Movie Review – Pee Wee’s Big Holiday (2016)

  1. LOL. I watched this with my eight year old daughter last night. Exciting Friday night. I thought that Pee Wee aged well also. His humor, however, hasn’t. My daughter thought it was stupid and wanted to watch Star Wars again instead. I guess I did something right in raising her.

    • Not his best work. His first two were pretty good. One thing that dawned on me is that the townspeople in the first two movies always hated him and acted like jerks, making it funnier. They all liked him in this one.

    • Try Pee Wee’s Big Adventure! The only silver lining is it made me want to go back and watch it again. I think it will hold up.

  2. Jack Shalom says:

    Not as funny or well constructed as the first two movies, but it was fun to see him again, and there were a few LOL moments for me.

    • I’m not sure people get the “being silly for the sake of silliness” type of comedy of the past. People need an explanation for everything now. Part of me also thinks that Joe was a Pee Wee fan and wanted to relive his childhood.

  3. Pee Wee always irritated me.

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