There are six billion people in the world, roughly. I can wager that right about now there is an argument going on. It’s one that has been going around for a good thirty years and even more so since the troop were thrust back into the spotlight for new life shows. Yes, it is that old dilemma, which Monty Python film is the best? Life of Brian or Holy Grail? While you ponder over which one your favourite is, and possible couples will split up because of it, why not have a look at the one movie that is barely mentioned: The Meaning Of Life.
Yes, ok. It’s barely mentioned because compared to the prior two films, it’s a subpar Monty Python effort. The vignettes as you are taking through the average span of a human never quite fit into to the pure hilarity of Monty Python farce. It feels more like it was written separately (and it probably was) and when they were put together, it doesn’t quite fit. It bounces from cleverness to some overtired moments that probably spurned the John Cleese departure because it feels shockingly stale. Even the super surreal moments, like Find The Fish (which, by the way, dressed up in a pink wig like an extra from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Graham Chapman was still attractive), never really echoes of the Monty Python feel.
Meaning of Life isn’t a complete dud and when it works well, it’s pretty hilarious. Feeling much more like an extended Flying Circus show, rather than a studied and complete film, I am sure that out there, there are people who prefer it. Never the less, Monty Python has been a major part of English culture, providing us with many laughs and they still do. I can’t remember a time in my life where I haven’t randomly thought of jokes. The Meaning of Life may not be the best but it is a better tirade of comedy than a lot of movies coming out today. And the toe-tapping tunes are incredible.