Couch Lock Monday: Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

Mondays, what a day, and this one is Valentine’s day! We’re having a sale on all edibles today, so come on by and get some infused chocolates for your bae. It’s the beginning of the work week for many, and getting back into the flow means that we are extra tired when we get back home from working for the day. So what else is there to do but light up some flower, get higher than a kite, and sink into that recliner or couch to vibe and watch some great TV. Today I want to recommend and talk somewhat about, without spoiling, Monty Python’s lesser known movie, “The Meaning of Life”.

“- Grim Reaper: I have come for you.

– Geoffrey: You mean to…

– Grim Reaper: Take you away. That is my purpose. I am Death.

– Geoffrey: Well that’s cast rather a gloom over the evening hasn’t it?”

John Marwood Cleese, Geoffrey and the Grim Reaper

Monty Python is a paragon of comedy for me personally, and “Meaning of Life” in particular is a grade A on sketch comedy compiled into a singular movie experience which investigates the many different aspects of the lives of humanity. The movie is broken down into 7 different chapters which introduce themselves with a title card, then follow with a collection of sketches about that subject. If you were a fan of the type of comedy portrayed in their most popular work, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, this movie will reinforce your love for this group of witty Brits.

My favorite skit which I will write very shortly about so as to leave is mostly unspoiled is a scene which involves a British Officer in an encampment in Africa during the Anglo-Zulu war of the late 1870s. The officer is nonchalantly shaving his beard while his army is being set upon by Zulu warriors. While shaving, his mirror is impaled by a spear, to which the officer, annoyed, picks up a broken shard and finishes his shave before walking through the battlefield while nearby soldiers stop fighting to salute, and carry continue fighting. He makes his way into a medical tent, where he is horrified to find that a fellow officer, who had lost his leg in a prior attack, has had his leg stolen! The skit then continues on with a journey to try and find the officers leg.

I love the political commentary of this sketch on military structure, the ridiculousness of dedication to upkeeping the look of an officer, and the nearby troops dropping defense to show respect to someone who cares nil about their wellbeing. The continuation of this scene continues with yet more commentary on the way the forces and officers deal with loss, death, injury and desertion.

This scene is my personal favorite of the movie, there are many many more skits to enjoy in this movie, ranging from lighthearted to raunchy. This movie is bold, especially for it’s time, which keeps it a fresh experience to watch time and time again. Overall, I give this movie a 9/10. I take one point away for one sketch in particular that I’m just not fond of regarding a certain restaurant guest.

Definitely my favorite Monty Python film, and competes with “Robin Hood Men in Tights” by Mel Brooks for my favorite comedy movie. Makes for a great movie to get stoned to and have a laugh for a couple of hours, great to show to someone for the first time and see their enjoyment as well. To all my Housies out there, hope you enjoy seeing this movie for the first time or coming back to it after a good while, until next time.

-Kyle Heiderich
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