I watched Napoleon Dynamite last night. Made for just $400,000 by an Idahoan film student, it grossed $44.5 million in the US alone. It came to my attention because the Moonlight Cinema in the Botanical Gardens are declaring it to be the new cult hit, bigger than Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which is one of the best films ever in my opinion. The State of Idaho were so proud, they passed a resolution commending the directors Jared and Jerusha Hess for the production of their film. The text of the resolution is below, and is a testament to positivity, and not a little parochialism.
LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO
Fifty-eighth Legislature First Regular Session – 2005
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 29
BY WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION STATING LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND COMMENDING JARED AND JERUSHA HESS AND THE CITY OF PRESTON FOR THE PRODUCTION OF THE MOVIE “NAPOLEON DYNAMITE.”
Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
WHEREAS, the State of Idaho recognizes the vision, talent and creativity of Jared and Jerusha Hess in the writing and production of “Napoleon Dynamite”; and
WHEREAS, the scenic and beautiful City of Preston, County of Franklin and the State of Idaho are experiencing increased tourism and economic growth; and
WHEREAS, filmmaker Jared Hess is a native Idahoan who was educated in the Idaho public school system; and
WHEREAS, the Preston High School administration and staff, particularly the cafeteria staff, have enjoyed notoriety and worldwide attention; and
WHEREAS, tater tots figure prominently in this film thus promoting Idaho’s most famous export; and
WHEREAS, the friendship between Napoleon and Pedro has furthered multiethnic relationships; and
WHEREAS, Uncle Rico’s football skills are a testament to Idaho athletics; and
WHEREAS, Napoleon’s bicycle and Kip’s skateboard promote better air quality and carpooling as alternatives to fuel-dependent methods of transportation; and
WHEREAS, Grandma’s trip to the St. Anthony Sand Dunes highlights a long-honored Idaho vacation destination; and
WHEREAS, Rico and Kip’s Tupperware sales and Deb’s keychains and glamour shots promote entrepreneurism and self-sufficiency in Idaho’s small towns; and
WHEREAS, Napoleon’s artistic rendition of Trisha is an example of the importance of the visual arts in K-12 education; and
WHEREAS, the schoolwide Preston High School student body elections foster an awareness in Idaho’s youth of public service and civic duty; and
WHEREAS, the “Happy Hands” club and the requirement that candidates for school president present a skit is an example of the importance of theater arts in K-12 education; and
WHEREAS, Pedro’s efforts to bake a cake for Summer illustrate the positive connection between culinary skills to lifelong relationships; and
WHEREAS, Kip’s relationship with LaFawnduh is a tribute to e-commerce and Idaho’s technology-driven industry; and
WHEREAS, Kip and LaFawnduh’s wedding shows Idaho’s commitment to healthy marriages; and
WHEREAS, the prevalence of cooked steak as a primary food group pays tribute to Idaho’s beef industry; and
WHEREAS, Napoleon’s tetherball dexterity emphasizes the importance of physical education in Idaho public schools; and
WHEREAS, Tina the llama, the chickens with large talons, the 4-H milk cows, and the Honeymoon Stallion showcase Idaho’s animal husbandry; and
WHEREAS, any members of the House of Representatives or the Senate of the Legislature of the State of Idaho who choose to vote “Nay” on this concurrent resolution are “FREAKIN’ IDIOTS!” and run the risk of having the “Worst Day of Their Lives!”
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the First Regular Session of the Fifty-eighth Idaho Legislature, the House of Representatives and the Senate concurring therein, that we commend Jared and Jerusha Hess and the City of Preston for showcasing the positive aspects of Idaho’s youth, rural culture, education system, athletics, economic prosperity and diversity.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we, the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the State of Idaho, advocate always following your heart, and thus we eagerly await the next cinematic undertaking of Idaho’s Hess family.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives be, and she is hereby authorized and directed to forward a copy of this resolution to Jared and Jerusha Hess, the Mayor of the City of Preston and the Principal of Preston High School.
Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of this resolution is to recognize and commend Jared and Jerusha Hess for their cinematic talents by which they have increased the nation’s awareness of Idaho.
You really have to have seen the film for any of that to make sense to you, but if only we could all take the time and make the effort to see the good in things, and to praise and encourage good where it is found, even amongst evil, we’d be closer to the Kingdom.
What I found funny about the film wasn’t so much the characters (who were mostly awkward, though not unnaturally so), but the reminder that there are these kind of people in the world. I know, because I grew up with them. This film makes them endearing.
I’m not going to say it’s the best film I’ve ever seen, but any film that makes a state legislature pass a motion such as “WHEREAS, any members of the House of Representatives or the Senate of the Legislature of the State of Idaho who choose to vote “Nay” on this concurrent resolution are ‘FREAKIN’ IDIOTS!’ and run the risk of having the ‘Worst Day of Their Lives!’” is a pretty darn good thing.