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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (review)

All Hail SpongeBob!

I’ve heard tell that there are some grownups who don’t get why other grownups might want to watch a cartoon. I guess those grownups have forgotten how good it feels when you’re braying like a hyena for 90 minutes straight. Maybe if we told them, I dunno, that nonstop laughter is good for the abs or something, they might see the value in it.

I mean, where else are you gonna find endless absurdity that’s meant to be absurd, that isn’t incidentally ridiculous — like, say, the evening news — that makes you want to laugh without always wanting to crawl up in a fetal ball and cry? You have to turn to a story about a sponge named Bob. Who wears pants. Who lives in a pineapple under the sea. It simply is a must for retaining one’s sanity in our insane times: a deliberate dose of deliberate insanity. War is peace. Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery. SpongeBob is God.
Where else can you turn except to The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, which is kinda like Super Size Me meets The Lord of the Rings for lunch in the dining car of the Crazy Train. The placid world of Bikini Bottom has been taken over, like Sauron wishes he could have done to the Shire, by the evil little Plankton (the voice of Mr. Lawrence, who does “painful squealing such as occurs when one has been squashed underfoot” really well), who is controlling the citizens through fast-food giveaways at his revolting burger joint the Chum Bucket. (I won’t reveal how he lured customers away from the far classier and more greasily delicious Krusty Krab, where Our Hero SpongeBob works, or why Bikini Bottom found itself so vulnerable, because if I tell you everything, there’ll be nothing ridiculously absurd and surprising, and I wouldn’t want to be accused of denying anyone the essential, soul-saving opportunity to bray like a hyena for 90 minutes straight.) Off to save the day by journeying on a quest to darkest distant Mordor– er, darkest distant Shell City are SpongeBob (the voice of Tom Kenny, who does “delighted squealing such as occurs when one achieves the most perfectly comfy fit of one’s square cardboard pants” really well) and his starfish pal Patrick (the voice of Bill Fagerbakke, who does “Garth-of-Wayne-and-Garth-style-feels-kinda-funny squealing such as occurs when the common Pisaster brevenspinus discovers the joys of interspecies physical attraction” really well). They’re chased by a Black Rider named Dennis (the voice of Alec Baldwin, who will punch you if you say he squeals really well), and they have amongst their helpful treasures a magical bag of winds, which in Frodo’s case was called Sam.*

And that’s not even the truly nutty stuff. This guy Stephen Hillenburg, who invented SpongeBob and his TV show and this movie, is clearly insane, in a wonderful way that makes a gal like me want to have his baby. The topography of David Hasselhoff (David Hasselhoff) on a way more intimate scale than I had ever hoped to experience? Disgusting! SpongeBob in the throes of an ice-cream hangover, ragged and unshaven (I know: an unshaven sponge?) and looking like something R. Crumb would have drawn? Scary! An army of fast-food-eating slaves? Quel commentary!

I fall at the spindly little feet of this man, this sponge, this SpongeBob, and worship his joie de vivre, his spirit, his square pants. Even though I am not worthy to do so.

*I kid, I kid! Please don’t hurt me.

MPAA: rated PG for some mild crude humor

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb
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