This is a road movie, one with a road trip sparked by a bromance. Pee-wee lives in Fairville, a pleasant small town. He has a job working in the local diner. He has townsfolk who like him. But he doesn't really seem to have much of a life. Why? As he says to one local salesman with some slight irritation, "You know I don't want to go anywhere or try anything new."
Joe Manganiello does quite well in the comedy department. He's relaxed and likable. And you do get giggles seeing him as big blue hunk, blue because the one person he wants at his swanky, festive party is not there. His Pee-wee.
It was just the kind of lunacy I needed to perk up my spirits. I read a review that picked the movie apart like it should've been in the same league with the best of Chaplin and Keaton. Wrong. At times, Reuben's character is reminiscent of a silent screen star from the 1920s. There's a hint of actor Harry Langdon in his Pee-wee. But this is just playhouse comedy in which no one gets hurt and there are no dirty words. It may not be a great comedy, but it sure is a heck of lot better than two Kevin Hart comedies I had to review and a couple of recent Jennifer Aniston comedies. Did you ever see the Preston Sturges 1941 classic, Sullivan's Travels? When the rich studio head (played by Joel McCrea) disguised as a hobo gives a ride to The Girl (played by Veronica Lake) after she bought him breakfast, she talks about movies. She loved a silly but funny comedy much more than some "deep dish" drama. Sullivan's Travels is also a road movie, one that celebrates all those artists who work hard to make us laugh in some form or another.
I did notice that average movie-watchers took to Twitter and Facebook and got a kick out of the movie. I'm in that group. I got a kick out of it too. I think Preston Sturges would've loved it. Especially the scene with the nine food-bearing farmer's daughters. I repeat, Paul Reubens is a gifted actor. He gave me the gift of some much-needed laughter with Pee-wee's Big Holiday now streaming on Netflix. The movie is a Judd Apatow and Paul Reubens production.