The long weekend gave me a chance to soak up some much need recharge time in front of the idiot box, and one of the more charming films to keep me soma-fied was…sigh…Nacho Libre?
I know, but hear me out. It’s Jack Black doing his Jack Black thing. If you can’t get past that then give it a miss. But if you do give it a miss, then you’ll be missing out on one of those little movies about an odd man with a tender heart with an odd idea how to go about doing the right thing. Plus, luchadores.
Jack’s character is a Mexican orphan who grows up to be the cook at a small monastery, and to help make ends meet he enters the ring and gets beat up by a succession of luchadores. In typical fashion, he succumbs to the temptation of fancy clothes and has to find a way back to the righteous path of professional wrestling…for the leetle cheeldrens.
It’s rare to see the Catholic faith presented in such a respectful manner, and for that alone I give it a lot of respect.
Although billed as a slapstick comedy – and it is that – Jared Hess directs this film with an understated charm that reminded me of the mood of Napoleon Dynamite. Where Napoleon leans heavily on the “LOL so random” anti-humor throughout, Nacho Libre actually treats the through-going narrative with the seriousness needed to build the tension required to make the actual laughs work. It’s a lot closer in feel to Zoolander than to a Leslie Nielsen movie, if that makes sense.
If you’re in the mood for something quirky and cute, give it a shot. You won’t belly laugh, but the chuckles and warmth of this film provide way more entertainment value than what passes for comedy in today’s Hollywood films.