This file was generated 2003-02-20 06:06 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2002-09-03.
Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> September 1999 >> Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
Ah ha! Now I have seen the Machine That Goes "Bing". Now I know what inspired "Every Sperm is Sacred". Perhaps most importantly, I know what happens to Crimson Permanent Assurance. I first saw part of Meaning of Life on a dubbed tape with Holy Grail. Since Grail has a rather strange and abrupt ending, and Meaning of Life has such a bizarre and credit-free beginning, I didn't realize I'd switched films!
There are large stretches of Meaning of Life which are better in concept than in execution. I found myself yearning for the faster transitions of "Monty Python's Flying Circus". There were long stretches of unfunny exposition leading up to a few big laughs, but I was frequently losing faith that big laughs were still forthcoming. The performers seem a bit dull, almost like they're being weighed down by the process of making the movie.
Thinking back on it, most of the good bits were also the naughty bits. Watching a very prim John Cleese discuss condoms is topped only by his presentation in a sex education class. The dance to "Every Sperm is Sacred" complete with a chorus of children had me wondering what studio let it even be made! I wouldn't expect something that wonderfully edgy, even by today's standards, to make it to the screen easily!