Thankfully, I can say that PEE-WEE'S BIG HOLIDAY works! While it won't please everyone, the new movie should make fans young and old happy.
Just like in PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE, the new film opens with a elaborate Rube Goldberg machine. It's not as cool as the set-up in the first movie, but not terrible. Pee-Wee lives in the town of Fairville, a Norman Rockwell place of sorts. In this small town he is a short order cook at the local greasy spoon diner. As expected the townsfolk love Pee-Wee and he loves them, with the exception of a rather persistent lady friend (nice callback to the original) and obnoxious salesman.
One day while working at the diner alone Pee-Wee gets waits on a out of town customer. The fella introduces himself as none other than Joe Maganiello, the actor. What happens next is a pretty funny bit where Joe asks Pee Wee if he recognizes him or has seen any of his films. The MAGIC MIKE reaction is priceless!
Pee Wee shows Joe around town and the two become friends. Before leaving town, Joe invites Pee-Wee to his birthday party in New York City. But if he wants to come Joe insists it has to be a road trip. “It's time you live a little Pee-Wee!”, Joe says.
So PEE-WEE'S BIG HOLIDAY is another road trip movie, which isn't a bad thing. He meets some interesting characters along the way; a gang of switchblade sisters, gag-gift salesman, and a farmer with 9 daughters. These meet and greets are classic Pee Wee, but nothing like Large Marge from PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE.
I don't know if by the time Pee-Wee made it to New York City the movie had already went over budget? For me it was the weakest part of the film. I was expecting a big chase or something trying to emulate the ending of the original movie? Instead we get our main character stuck in a well? Sort of a let down when the word “Big” is in the title of your movie.
I can understand New York can be expensive to shoot on location and the movie is not a blockbuster budget, so I can be a little forgiving?
I recommend PEE-WEE'S BIG HOLIDAY. Fans won't be disappointed, I think?
It's been a long time since we've seen Paul Reubens as the character, and when you see the movie it's as if time has stopped. With our current culture being obsessed with nostalgia, maybe it is time for Pee-Wee to make a comeback?
For those old fans who are now parents, good luck with that conversation with your kids when they ask, “Why was Pee-Wee Herman gone for so long”?