- A ridiculous movie that I can never get enough of and it's all my sister's fault!
Author’s Note: Review originally published July 25, 2013
Starring – Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton, Diane Salinger, Daryl Keith Roach, Alice Nun, Jan Hooks, Cassandra Peterson (better known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark), Phil Hartman, James Brolin, Morgan Fairchild
Directed by Tim Burton
“You don’t want to get mixed up with a guy like me. I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.” – Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens)
In the summer of 1985, my big sis, Kelli, went to see this film with one of her many boyfriends or friends who were boys who wanted to date her and I think this is the same guy she saw Sam Kinison with in concert as well. Hey, she had better boyfriends than me! Mine never took me to cool things like this??!!! Maybe because she actually likes to date boys and I don’t. Damn!! Oh well. I got me an awesome wife now who took me to see George Michael and Seal and The Color Purple musical, so I think we are even on that. Anyway, I thought Kelli was N-U-T-S, NUTS for wasting her time on a ridiculous movie like this. And then for an entire year, she went on and on about how hilarious this film was and how I just had to see it. Well back in the 1980s, we had very little access to entertainment, so that’s why I had to wait a full year for the bloody movie to come to HBO before I finally got to see what the fuss was all about. And in the summer of 1986, my sister and I watched Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure 24/7. And we continue to watch it every chance we get for years and years now and many, many years to come. Yes, we have the entire film memorized and quote the film to each other all the time still to this day. The film is basically about a grown man who lives the life of a child. He has the most awesome bicycle ever, and when it is stolen from him, he goes on a big adventure to recover it.
So, what in the hell is gay about a film whose entire plot is about finding a missing bicycle?! Well, besides Paul Reubens being gay in real life, Pee-wee seems to have an affinity for the same sex as well. Or at least he has NO interest in the many, many, oh God help me please, the many gorgeous women who go all gaga over him in the film, especially Dottie (played by the very sexy Elizabeth Daily), who begs Pee-wee time and again to go on a date with her. But time and again he says, no way, José! Pee-wee also has a waitress fall for him (played by the also very sexy Diane Salinger), where they talk about her big “but” or maybe they mean “butt”??! 😉 Pee-wee also has a third woman (played by the also, again, very sexy Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and Elvira, you can be my mistress of the dark anytime, and you are still wondering why I watched this movie so often???!!!) who wants to have her way with Pee-wee after he knocks over a bunch of bikers’ motorcycles and they are trying to determine the best way to kill him. Instead of letting the sexy biker chick have her way with him, he does a dance to the song “Tequila” instead. Hello??!! He danced to “Tequila” instead of going to bed with Elvira. Just saying, you can’t get any gayer than that. Trust me. I am still furious with him over that one. The other women he rejected, maybe I can forgive. Maybe. But Elvira and that magnificent cleavage of hers. Oh boy. You know you are a gay man when you are turning that down for a dance instead. Just saying.
This film is absolutely ridiculous and hilarious and a little bit gay. What better way to spend an afternoon?! Enjoy!! And remember to tell ’em, “Large Marge sent ya!!!”
True Life Fun Fact: I once knew an actor who very briefly dated Paul Reubens, as in they went out on one date. When I asked him what went wrong, he said Paul wasn’t his type. I still wonder to this day what he meant by that. Oh well.
Another True Life Fun Fact: I know even another person who is connected to Pee-wee (see, that Kevin Bacon thing is real). It was my uncle and he had Thanksgiving dinner with the director of Pee-wee and his big ass awesome adventure back in the early 1990s. My sister and me were SO excited when he told us that. Mr. Burton even loved my uncle’s dogs. How sweet. Love me some Tim Burton forever because of this movie. 🙂
Random Fact: Pee-wee made another adventure movie some 30 years later called, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. 🙂
Dedication Time: This review is dedicated to my fellow Lesbian Communist (it’s a thing we do as a joke, don’t worry, people), Linda, who I consider to be a big sister and although we didn’t grow up together, we will always have Pee-wee and Seinfeld to quote to each other well into old age. 🙂 And to my actual big sis, Kelli, who introduced me to both Pee-wee and Seinfeld in the first place. “Those are ladies glasses.” 😉 Trust me, that is a joke Kelli and me still have from a Seinfeld episode to this day. Probably because I have worn stupid glasses since I was 15. Stupid glasses. Ladies glasses are especially stupid. Just saying.
Update to the dedication 10/16/2017 – And life keeps proving how ridiculous it is, although that ridiculousness is sometimes a good thing because my big sis got married in Vegas this past weekend and my friend Linda just happened to be in Vegas at the exact same time of the elopement and so she got to be my sister’s matron of honor. And so all of those many years ago when my sister and me were watching Pee-wee and his big adventure, little did we know there was a Linda out there loving on Pee-wee’s Big Adventure too and one day they would get to quote Pee-wee to each other during Kelli’s elopement in Vegas. And if it wasn’t for my wife, none of this would have been possible, since she is the reason why we know Linda in the first place. Although, my wife would never quote Pee-wee or Seinfeld because they just aren’t her thing. See, life is ridiculous, but sometimes it’s a good thing.