Images and text in this post may contain affiliate links which, if a purchase is made from those sites, I may earn money or products from the company.
In a world in which comedic movies are often fueled by drug references and sexual innuendo, Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday may seem tame, outdated, and strictly made to appease those who need their nostalgia fix. But, if anything, it serves to show that those often neglected because their funny bone isn’t tickled by vulgarity can still find new productions which can cater to them.
Summary (with Commentary)
Pee-Wee’s (Paul Reubens) life has become a bit stagnant. He has spent most of his life in Fairview, at least according to this movie, and as his friends begin to move on, get married, and create families, he is still a short order cook at Dan’s diner. All of which is highly frustrating for him since, let’s face it, Pee-Wee isn’t much for change. For despite his eccentric inventions, he wears the same suit every day, has refused to settle down, and hasn’t even ventured outside of his town because he believes all he needs is there.
That is, until Joe Manganiello (who plays himself), shows up on a motorcycle and is so cool that Pee-Wee becomes enamored. Especially since Joe is not only cool but shares a lot of Pee-Wee’s likes and the two hit it off. Leading to Joe inviting Pee-Wee to his birthday party in New York City. The catalyst for Pee-Wee Big Adventure, I mean, Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday.
Things To Note
Considering in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure Pee-Wee traveled the US for his bike, I’m unsure why Pee-Wee makes it seem he never really left town. Also, said bike is nowhere to be seen, or the past love interest of Pee-Wee.
Paul Reubens still has it: Though I think his face was digitally altered to maintain Pee-Wee’s youthfulness, when it came to his mannerisms and the dialog, it was like Pee-Wee never went away.
While I can’t imagine Joe Manganiello as a comedic actor, for right now only Terry Crews has broken the barrier of being big, built, and funny to me, I must admit some of the scenes between him and Pee-Wee, especially when Joe was dancing in Pee-Wee’s dreams, were chuckle worthy.
Some of the jokes go on for too long: One in particular, in which Pee-Wee empties a balloon and tries to make music with it, felt like they went on for a good half hour instead of a few minutes.
There isn’t a journey of self-discovery: While I’m not at all sure how old Pee-Wee is supposed to be anymore, I do feel like this journey should have been some sort of wake up call, a journey of self-discovery, or something. For while Pee-Wee has a house, a job, and things of that nature, he also seems like the poster child for arrested development and it would have been interesting to see if Paul Reubens could gradually have the character evolve rather than just test to see if Pee-Wee could be in a movie once more.
On The Fence
This being a standalone movie: With Pee-Wee, the character, having a multi-decade resume, it makes the past media not being canon sort of weird. Especially because it isn’t like after Paul Reubens’ scandal Pee-Wee was never seen until now. Pee-Wee has made a few media appearances every year and surely isn’t a stranger to anyone but little kids. So to present a new movie in which it seems Pee-Wee’s past has been re-written seemed odd to me. Especially since, being someone who has watched the past movies, and some of the TV show, it makes it seem like Pee-Wee has devolved a little. For while he does have a job now, it seems him being a man-child has grown as well as him no longer being just an odd guy, but maybe someone with arrested development.
Final Thought(s): TV Viewing
Is Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday a disappointment? No. If anything, it is what it has always, at least to me, presented itself as. A bit of a blast from the past and a character who has been seen every now and then on various shows finally coming back to the forefront. But to say this movie is a triumphant return would be a bit farfetched. Not because it wasn’t released in theaters but for Netflix, but more so because it seems to re-write Pee-Wee’s past and with that it taints a bit of the nostalgia. For with Pee-Wee seemingly getting a memory wipe, so goes some of your childhood favorite moments of Pee-Wee and all that is left is someone who looks like Pee-Wee and acts like him, but often times seems like one helluva imitation.