Hi, I’m in Delaware
Release date: February 14, 1992
Director: Penelope Spheeris
Who should watch this movie: Elder Millennials. People in the DIY music scene. Anyone with an art degree.
When should you watch this movie: When reality is stressing you out.
The sell: It’s difficult to describe Wayne’s World as anything other than whimsical, and yet that too fails to capture the beautiful absurdity of this film. Directed by Penelope Spheeris (an icon), and produced by Lorne Michaels (some guy), Wayne’s World is a ninety-five minute caper through the nightlife of Aurora, Illinois. Guided by Wayne and Garth, hosts of a public-access television show (produced in Wayne’s family’s basement), the camera sees this eclectic group of friends and musicians on their quest to take life lightly. Conflict is introduced in the form of Benjamin Kane, a suave and well-off producer who hopes to get rich off of Wayne and Garth’s show. Hijinks ensue. Despite their predilection for hilarity, the characters in this movie remain earnest about their art and more so their devotion to one another. In fact, the real joy of Wayne’s World comedy is that, though the main characters are ridiculous and often strange, the jokes are never at their expense. Instead, punchlines serve to ridicule the clean cut business types who, rather than appreciate art, seek to commodify it. The film looks upon the corporate world with some derision and plenty of mirth. Complete with not one but three endings, this entire production is a chaotic joyride of sphincter jokes and meta-humor, which has miraculously aged better than pretty much every other movie that came out in the same year (including Aladdin). One day I’ll write a long-form essay about Wayne’s World’s revolutionary potential, but until then, Party On.