Voices of: Kristen Schaal H. Jon Benjamin John Roberts Dan Mintz
Eugene Mirman Kevin Kline Zach Galifianakis Aziz Ansari Larry Murphy
I overheard an audience member in the screening I attended say that he didn’t like the televised version of Bob’s Burgers at first, but it grew on him and he eventually got to watching it regularly. I’ve never seen one episode, so you can imagine my reaction during the first fifteen minutes of the movie. What was said about the television show “Seinfeld”? Yeah, that it was “a show about nothing.” And that was my reaction to Bob’s Burgers Movie—it was amusing but didn’t engage me. It seemed like I was wasting my time.
It is, however, a kind of low-key comedy that I can appreciate others really liking. Writer/Co-director (with Bernard Derriman) Loren Bouchard, who was largely responsible for the television series, has produced an appealing movie version with many/most of the same actors as on television. That and the wry comedy and “adventure” means that fans of the show are very likely to adore the movie.
Action centers around young Louise Belcher (Schaal, whom I have long admired) responding to a taunt at school making fun of her hat with rabbit ears, calling her a “baby”, and accusing her of being a fraidy-cat. Louise is outraged at the same time she is already worried about her parents’ losing Bob’s Burgers because the bank is calling in their loan. And oh yes, a large sink hole has manifested itself right outside the front door of the burger place, keeping customers away. Well, this is certainly not a “show about nothing.”
Louise’s compulsion to prove her bravery puts her in detective mode, which means she proceeds to solve a murder (the body was found in the sink hole), aided only by her two siblings Tina (Mintz) and Gene (Mirman).
Solving a murder, trying to save a business, dealing with school, and getting into a wealthy family’s dynamics—all of this is put together in a meaningful way to tell a story that is entertaining and has some substance. As I have been writing my review of Bob’s Burgers, more features that I can admire have come to mind. In addition to the creativity involved in weaving together such disparate elements into a meaningful whole, I especially enjoyed various characters solving their problems by using made-up characters and sequences in their imagination.
Hmmm. It sounds like I might be one of those viewers who initially discount Bob’s Burgers, then end up thinking there is more to it than I initially thought.
Bob’s Burgers Movie is a story with characters that eventually grow on the viewer—enough apparently to warrant over 100 episodes of the Belcher family on Fox TV.
Grade: B By Donna R. Copeland