I went to The Muppets with my parents last Friday. I’m a huge fan of Jason Segel as I’m an avid advocate of How I Met Your Mother and love Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I Love You Man. He produced the movie and is the lead actor in it.
I couldn’t wait to see the movie when my older brother Mick told me Segel was coming out with The Muppets about a year ago. We had a couple of The Muppets movies when I was a kid growing up, and although it’s been awhile since I’ve watched them, I remember how clean and clever there humor was.
The movie met, and dare I say, exceeded my expectations. The comedic aspects of it were as clean and clever as you can get. The human actors/actresses (Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones) did a great job of not caring if they looked stupid and committed to the innocent fun that is the Muppets. Segel did a masterful job of retaining that classic Muppets feel, while simultaneously making them relevant in the 21st century.
The music in the movie was written by Flight of the Conchords Brett Mackenzie. The theme song “Life’s a Happy Song,” somehow makes you want to standup and click your heels without coming off as cheesy. The 2nd best track comes during the turning point of the plot, where Segel has to decide if he’s a “Muppet or a Man,” and in the end he concludes that he’s “A Muppet of a Man,” and not a “Manly Muppet.” On paper it sounds kind of stupid, but me and my parents were cracking up pretty hard as we downed our 2nd bucket of large popcorn.
What’s great about the film is that it is enjoyable for adults and kids. For grownups who grew up with the Muppets, the nostalgia of the movie makes the price of your ticket completely worth it. For kids, it is what the Muppets have always been, silly and clever while teaching good moral values (friendship, selflessness, teamwork, etc).
As I was driving to see some friends after the movie, I was listening to satellite radio in my Mom’s car and happened to turn to a station that was doing an interview with Segel about the film. He began writing it four years ago right after he got done with Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He said he thought the most effective way to bring the Muppets into the 21st century was by doing a comeback style movie. This was a great decision, and also feels very relevant to the issues facing our country– which I absolutely think he did intentionally. And then he said something that was just classic Segel, “I always loved the muppets growing up and I didn’t want a generation of kids to grow up without them.”
I’m not gonna lie, the end of the movie had me tearing up a bit. It’s ability to speak about some of the issues in our culture while simultaneously shedding hope on our current situation was relieving and was almost more effective within the context of the innocence of a “kids movie.” It truly takes you back to the simpler times of your childhood and for that I give it 5 stars, 3 cheers, and 2 thumbs up.