January 17 - PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE (1985)
"There's a lotta things about me you don't know anything about, Dottie. Things you wouldn't understand. Things you couldn't understand. Things you shouldn't understand."
"I don't understand."
Today's category is Classics. This is a purposefully vague category, intended to be versatile enough to encompass everything from CITIZEN KANE to my favorite movie in high school (DONNIE DARKO). PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE is a classic because I grew up in a family who constantly quoted "There's no basement in the Alamo!" and "I LIKE you, Dottie! LIKE!" at each other. I remember watching this movie with my family years ago and enjoying it fine, but I didn't realize how influential it was on my sense of humor until I watched it again for this challenge. Tim Burton goes to extraordinary and elaborate lengths for the dumbest of payoffs, which really makes this movie a collection of memorable excuses for punchlines and gags, loosely connected by the story of Pee-Wee's quest to find his bicycle.
The best part of PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE is that it doesn't bother with grounding any of its jokes or bits. Wouldn't it be funny if Pee-Wee befriended a biker gang and immediately crashed his motorcycle into a billboard? Yeah, sure, he'll wake up in the hospital but there aren't any doctors around and he's fine - he'll just get up and leave. There's no point in explaining the nonsense that's happening here, just roll with it and enjoy the expertly-crafted sequence of idiocy. PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE holds up, and it's a lot of fun.
Tomorrow: the Fantastic.