My parents have some friends back in Preston, Idaho, who report to them that the city has become a destination for Napoleon Dynamite fans. Visitors can tour various locations from the film and meet with Tina The Llama. Preston is enjoying something of a boom from all the attention, and I like to imagine the retro-80s-style indie kids on a tour bus with the blue-haired Idaho Falls grandmothers who came down, special, to see what all the fuss was about.
The state legislature is getting in on the action, with a resolution honoring the filmmakers’ depiction of various Idaho industries and qualities. The resolution starts off routinely enough, acknowledging the economic benefits that have come from the movie and the nice experience that everybody at the high school has had thanks to its popularity. But then it gets a little weird:
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 transporta-tion;
... and so on. The rest of the resolution sums up pretty much the whole movie, commending its exemplification of Idaho’s entrepreneurial spirit, theater and visual arts, e-commerce, meat products, and tetherball. (No mention of how having Alphaville in the soundtrack expresses Idaho’s committment to 80s Euro-rock.) Now, I happen to like the movie, though I think you may need a certain degree of Idaho-Utah socialization to enjoy it, but I’m pretty sure that the film is mocking (or, more gently, affectionately making fun of) much of its subject matter. Its hero is a not-very-bright guy who has a bit of a mean streak, and who seems to have pretty limited prospects for the future; Uncle Rico is holding onto his football glory days with a death-grip, which would be fine if he owned a successful auto dealership—but he lives in his van and sells not-Tupperware; Grandma is pretty much a deadbeat parent; and everybody seems more than a little bit emotionally stunted, if not fully over-medicated. I think this all makes for pretty fine entertainment, but I’m not sure any of these people make good role models or show off the Gem State particularly well. (Though, if you’re into it, the filmmakers do have some nice tracking shots of the southeastern Idaho countryside.)
All that said, you sort of have to respect whoever wrote this into the resolution:
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!”
It looks like they’re in on at least part of the joke.