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Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 07/27/2007

'Simpsons Movie': Plenty of 'Ha-Has!'

By Jen Chaney

Is "The Simpsons Movie" funny? Of course it is. It's "The Simpsons," people. Even at its worst -- and, as a fan from the beginning, I can admit that it's been less than consistent in recent seasons -- it's still funnier than most of what passes for comedy on television. The question is: Does the movie live up to the legacy of the show?

The answer to that is no. As Stephen Hunter points out today in his review, the satire remains sharp and the laughs come pretty quickly. But, for me anyway, it plays like an extended version of a slightly better than average episode. So just calibrate your expectations accordingly when you head to the theater, and you'll still have a good time.

When you head to the local Googol-plex, as they refer to the moviehouses in Springfield, don't forget to take this handy checklist. It's the only way you can keep track of all the "d'ohs!" (there actually aren't that many), appearances by Disco Stu and swear words uttered by Marge. (Yes, she really does curse. It is PG-13, you know.) And if you want to get amped up beforehand, plan to chat with critic Desson Thomson today at 12:30 p.m. ET, or me today at 2 p.m. ET.

Lastly, since "The Simpsons" might be the ultimate pop culture creation, I thought I'd mention that Washington Post Radio is hosting its own World Series of Pop Culture starting next week. If you think you know pop culture and are game to answer some trivia questions starting Monday morning around 7:30, sign-up by e-mailing your name and phone number to comment@washingtonpostradio.com. If you're chosen as a contestant, a very nice person from the radio station will give you a ring. I'll be acting as the emcee, firing off the questions about "Seinfeld" and '80s music. As an added bonus, the grand prize (assuming you get to the finals) is an HD radio and Washington Nationals tickets. Better than what you'd find at Comic Book Guy's store, don't you think?

--Jen

By Jen Chaney  | July 27, 2007; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  Movies  
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Comments

You make it sound as if the movie is disappointing/isn't that great. Granted I haven't seen it but, it's been getting glowing reviews (including from mr. hunter) and fans generally seem to love it (see imdb and rotten tomatoes.)

Besides, there's no way an 88 minute "extended episode" can possibly match the legacy the show has created over the past 20 years. The beauty in the simpsons is a collection of strong episodes and not just a few really funny ones.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

The summer wind...came blowin' in...from across the sea . . .

Posted by: Martin | July 27, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

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