Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mystery Men

Mystery Men is a fun film about a handful of unusual superheros who, naturally, must save the world. It's fun, that is, if you understand the one crucial bit of info that makes it all make sense. Otherwise, it's just a strange little film that you put in the corner and feel mildly uncomfortable about. (Warning: Spoilers follow!)

Mystery Men stars some fantastic actors -- William H. Macy, Hank Azaria, Eddie Izzard, Ben Stiller, Paul Reubens, Greg Kinnear, and, of course, Janeane Garofalo. I really like Janeane Garofalo, both as an actress (she's excellent) and as a person (intelligent, confident, caring). In addition, for some reason, even though she's no Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta-Jones, or Lucy Liu, she's really hot. I guess it's that whole "intellect is sexy" thing. But I digress...

When I first encountered the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, I thought it was pretty stupid. (No, this is not another digression!) Then I grokked the essential bit of info that, like in Mystery Men, is never mentioned -- you're just supposed to get it. In that case, it was the fact that Hobbes was a stuffed tiger. Once you get that, it's hillarious.

Mystery Men is the same way. The key to the movie is that -- wait for it! -- all of the superheroes are actually kids. It's all imaginative play. One of the big clues is the Blue Rajah's conversation with his mother: "I'm a superhero, Mother. An effete British superhero." Once you understand that these are children at play, it all makes sense -- the wacky powers, the clumsiness, the outlandishness. At that point, it's all good fun.

Journal Description

My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.