Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
While I consider my intro to Python to be 'And Now for Something Completely Different', technically speaking, it was the first sketch from this film; 'The Crimson Permanent Assurance'. It was basically a bunch of old man pirates who cause a mutiny of their office building. Yeah, it's really out there. But at the time, it was something fun our parents were showing the kids.
Of course, being kids, our parents were pretty reluctant to allow us to watch the rest of the film. Admittedly, having seen it many times since my childhood, I can say this is easily their raunchiest film and that it's no wonder we weren't allowed to watch it.
This one takes a step away from the narrative style that 'Holy Grail' and 'Life of Brian' carried with them, going back to a sort of anthology of new sketches having to do with the various stages of life. In a very weird way, it ends up being a dark comedy, but a feel-good film all at once. I feel this is largely due to it covering a lot of the more suggestive aspects of life, like sexual education, or even coming face to face with death himself. There's also just really physically gross stuff going on here, like an obese man who doesn't stop throwing up, or a baby who simply falls out of its mother's womb and onto the floor.
However, with all that said, there's something incredibly appealing about the raunchiness of this movie, seeing as it's so ridiculously over the top and laughable. This isn't like 'American Pie' where the raunchiness is pretty abundant, but situations that can potentially actually happen. This is completely exaggerated to the point where you can't really help but laugh. Like, when I say that guy doesn't stop throwing up, her really doesn't. The only thing that's ever come close to matching it is the throw-up scene in 'Team America'.
But for my money, this is also the title with the best soundtrack. While 'Life of Brian' has a couple of good songs to it, this has tunes about sperm being sacred, how vast the galaxy is, Christmas in Heaven, someone randomly singing about how nice it is to have a penis, and of course, the Meaning of Life theme itself. Indeed, this title was a pretty solid way for Python to close their act.
They didn't do much at all after this as a team, and it's more likely that general audiences are mostly familiar with the likes of John Cleese and Eric Idle, who went on to probably become the most mainstream of the group. Terry Gilliam as well, but he became more of an overall filmmaker than a face on the screen. As for Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Graham Chapman, Graham has since passed on, and Michael and Terry just kinda faded away. They were still around, but their names were mainly still associated with Python.
And so, this closes out Python Month. Hopefully a few of these suggestions have encouraged my audience to seek some of these titles out. But for as much as I'm suggesting people see them, be forewarned that these movies are of the most random British humour, and may not be for everyone. But the beautiful thing about Python is that not liking it, or not getting it, are things the whole crew expected right from the get-go. There's an audience for this stuff, and I'm a part of it, but do bear in mind that I embrace the weird and random.
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