I’ve never gotten Pee Wee Herman. I understand the guilty pleasure of this movie, a movie wherein the titular character goes all over America searching for his beloved bike. I understand that filtered through the nostalgia of childhood, Pee Wee’s cute and funny, but even when I was a kid, I didn’t watch Pee Wee’s Playhouse that often.
If you want to get all technical-like – and maybe some of you do – it’s not a bad movie. Directed by Tim Burton early in his career and starring a multitude of zany characters, the only boring thing is the stretched-too-thin plot. Pee Wee naively searching for his bike across the country and haphazardly interacting with ghosts, bikers and Hollywood execs gets surprisingly boring after a while. I understand that it’s a kid’s movie but it does get tiring. God, how I wanted this man to find his bike.
More than anything, Pee Wee Herman is a mystery, a man who appears to have suffered some sort of brain trauma that causes him to act like a little boy, something that feels disturbing. He strikes me as the kind of guy that in real life, Mom would’ve warned you away from and Dad would’ve walked you past his house. Even as a kid, something felt wrong about a grown man who played with toys and acted like someone had removed a big chunk of gray matter from his head.
That’s not to say I can’t understand how others might find it charming and fun; for God’s sakes, I watched a lot of weird-ass stuff growing up myself. Something about Pee Wee sets my teeth on edge and makes me a little freaked out.
Plus, he wears a bow tie. No one trustworthy actually rocks a bow tie anymore. Did this guy even have a job? Or a life? And how did he and Dottie seriously never get together?
Weird, I tell you. Weird.