Posted by: Chelsea Novak | July 31, 2007

Not quite good enough for Napoleon Dynamite

So I’m one of five people on the planet who haven’t seen Napoleon Dynamite. I am okay with this. The trailer made me uncomfortable and I am overcome with the desire to hurt the character every time I see him. These things made me think that 120 minutes of him would do really bad things to my blood pressure.

Even though I haven’t seen the film, it doesn’t mean I haven’t seen/heard a lot of the jokes from it. The “Vote for Pedro” T-shirts, the chapstick and, sadly, the dance sequence.

Normally having a dance sequence in a film would make it near and dear to my heart, but this one annoys me. I will try to be fair, though. Napoleon is a doing a pretty good job, and the fact that he learned to dance in two days watching a video and actually won a student body president election with it, well that’s very nice for him.

It’s just that Canned Heat is big song for me, strange as that is. It became a bit of a personal anthem in my last year of University and I have so many fond memories of dancing to it or listening to it in the car with my friends. I guess the song is era defining for me.

I guess it’s not the movie itself that bugs me, but the fact that everyone but me and the four other people who haven’t seen it think of Napoleon Dynamite when the song comes on. I think of the awesome final sequence for Center Stage (you can fast-forward to 6:38 to see the relevant portion if the entire ballet doesn’t interest you) or of my friends and what dancing to that song meant for us, and in comparison, Napoleon Dynamite seems, I dunnno, unworthy.

I don’t know why it took me three years to figure out why it bothered me as much as it did.



  1. Well, I understand what you’re getting at on a couple of levels. First of all, I hate when a song I love is used in a context that I don’t like, so I’m with you.

    The other thing that I understand is not wanting to see Napoleon Dynamite. I didn’t either after seeing the trailer and hearing people talk about it.


    I eventually saw the movie, and it totally changed my mind.

    It’s not for everyone, and you probably need to be in the right frame of mind, but all I can tell you is that it’s not the movie you think it would be from the trailer or the plot.

    It’s a bit of a spoiler I suppose, but the main reason that the dance sequence at the end works isn’t because he turned himself into a great dancer, it’s what doing that dance meant for that character.

    Anyway, maybe give it a try sometime.

    And for the record, although I suppose the movie comes to mind when I hear Canned Heat, it’s only briefly. The song stands on its own!

  2. I hated it.

  3. I have to say, I really loved Napoleon Dynamite. And I really loved the dance sequence he did at the end…because it’s just so…Napoleon of him.

    That being said, when I hear Canned Heat I don’t think about the movie. Most of the time I think “Chel loves this song!”

  4. Awesome blog I was searching google for an image of a christmas tree and I seen your tree and then your lovely picture:) What warmth and love you put into your tree it was stunning what a total package and your a geel chick too.. From Canada where its cooler….

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