“About ten years ago or so (wow has it really been that long?!) there was a movie that everyone was raving about, or at least everyone in my circles. Shaun of the Dead, the zombie comedy from Edgar Wright that introduced the world at large to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. So of course, I had to see what the fuss was all about. The next time I was home, in what would be one of our last Blockbuster trips, I rented this to watch with my Daddy (soon after is when we started our 24 marathons). We both kinda sat thru it in silence. As we neared the end, we had a memorable exchange. “”Why did we get this one?”” “”I heard it was good…although, now that I think about it, I don’t really care too much for British humor”” “”Yeah, me neither”” “”Huh.”” “”So why did we get this one?”” There were a few gags that I enjoyed, but for the most part, it just wasn’t for me. And I was fine with that.
Fast forward a little bit, and for my bday or Christmas or some other gift giving occassion, one of my hall mates gives me the DVD. He hadn’t heard my previous story, so he didn’t know that I didn’t care much for the film, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him. Instead, he was so proud of himself for finding a good movie to get me that I didn’t already own. Within the next week or so, I decide to put it on while I’m working on a p-set (MIT homework). He happens to walk by, sees the movie is on, and ecstatically sits down with me. Again, so proud of himself that he thought he had done well with his gift selection. Fast forward a lil bit more, and in chatting with someone, I mention how I usually put movies that I don’t care for on while I’m tooling (MIT studying) so that I have background noise, but I’m not actually obliged to pay attention. The gifter happens to walk by at that point and overhears this, asking if that’s why I was watching the film. I had to break the sad news to him, but assured him that I really did appreciate the effort.
Anyways, I think it’s time I give this another go. This is, after all, the first of the infamous Cornetto trilogy that would reunite Wright, Pegg, and Frost and happen to feature a tasty British frozen treat.
In watching it now, I can certainly appreciate it more. No, it’s still not making me laugh out loud, but I’m at least smirking or lightly chuckling at some of the cleverness. The style of humor may not have worked on me ten years ago, but now that I’m more versed in film, I get its charm. And I do see that it is quite a brilliant film. Keep in mind, this was before the zombie craze that would be brought on a few years later by The Walking Dead.
Also, how did I not know Bill Nighy was in this? That just makes things so much better!
Ha! Martin Freeman! In the one joke that I really liked the first time, where Shaun and co meet their dopplegangers going in the other direction.”