Breezy and entertaining, Absolutely Anything is an enjoyable comedy with a great crew behind it. I don’t know why people don’t like this movie. It’s funny, smart, and authentic, especially when it comes to the jokes. And lighthearted, and it’s fucking science fiction and it’s got freaking aliens and the fucking aliens are the freaking The Pythons! Moreover, this is Robin Williams’ final film, released one full year after his death. Before you get too excited, I just want to warn you that this isn’t a masterpiece but just a delightfully uplifting comedy. Comedy with some pretty stunning special effects. I mean, the CGI was top-notch and I loved the overall stylistic direction.
Starring Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale, Absolutely Anything features that distinct British humor. British black humor, to be more precise. By taking several powerful concepts and uniting them into a single, cohesive narrative, director Terry Jones created a very lively atmosphere. Aliens, omnipotence, love, the meaning of life, and all the other core issues are present and explored with that special Monty Python vibe. That vibe is quite strong in the first part of the movie. You will be laughing your ass off at numerous mishaps of our clumsy hero Neil. Most of them are based on the literal meaning of the wishes.
Comparisons to Bruce Almighty are inevitable but the two movies have only one thing in common and that’s the concept of doing anything you want. AA uses that concept as means to reevaluate our desires, life, and its meaning in a much more profound way than Bruce does. It also features a lot of other elements and this, I believe, is the source for all the problems. The movie often cuts to gags and hilarious wishes that help you get lost in the story. However sometimes you lose the story too, and this can be a problem. At least the pacing is quite fast so we will quickly zip to the next setup.
Neil is a schoolteacher desperately in love with his hot neighbor Catherine. His failed attempts to write a book and establish himself as a writer have only impressed his best friend Dennis. Dennis who’s a dog by the way. At the same time, a group of intergalactic super-beings is pondering what to do with Earth. In the end, they decide to administer a test and guess who’s gonna have to do it…
Absolutely Anything is a bit too silly for my taste but that just makes it more approachable for others. I think that kids especially will love all the gags and slapstick humor. And if this is the movie that turns them to Pythons, Williams, or Pegg, so be it. I have to admit that I was expecting the next Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and this could be the source of that disappointment. The fact that Neil can make a wish for absolutely anything and he eventually does, keeps the movie fun and engaging throughout. It’s a perfect little piece of escapism that will make you forget your worries. For a while, at least. With a runtime of just over eighty minutes, make sure you check out this heartwarming movie.
Director: Terry Jones
Writer: Gavin Scott, Terry Jones
Cast: Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, Robin Williams, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Rob Riggle, Eddie Izzard, Emma Pierson
Fun Facts: The first film since The Meaning of Life (1983) to feature all five surviving members of Monty Python. According to director Terry Jones, this will probably be the last time they will appear in a film together.