Monty Python's The Meaning of Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life Reviews

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October 30, 2016
Monty Python's final film is also it's most crude and revolting. This is certainly not for everyone. However, it is well written, hilarious at times, with many classic scenes. The Mr. Creosote character is especially memorable (and utterly disgusting)!

For the uninitiated, start with Holy Grail, followed by Life Of Brian and then this film.
October 10, 2016
The final Monty Python film plays a bit more like an extended, darker episode of the show than their other movies. This one is pretty divisive in my experience, but I personally think it's some of their best stuff. Yes, some of the sketches are very not funny (I'm looking at you, Mr. Creosote), and sometimes they do go for shock a bit too much, but the good stuff in this is some of their most inventive, and memorable material. It won't be for everyone, but if you love Flying Circus like I do, it's worth a watch.
½ August 8, 2016
a lot of outrageous Monty Python humor hear. I just prefer the style of the other two films where it's all one story for the most part.
July 23, 2016
My first taste of Monty Python, this movie is full of sketches which are guaranteed to make anyone laugh. Highlights include the Galaxy song, Mr Creosols and A TIGER!?!?!
½ June 21, 2016
Not as good as its two more famous predecessors, but funny, intelligent and as absurd as always
½ February 12, 2016
For to night is the MEANING OF LIFEEEEE
February 10, 2016
A must-see for sketch comedy aficionados. This film has no narrative arc, and that was never the point. It's a collection of vaguely connected vignettes, so just enjoy it as that.
Super Reviewer
January 20, 2016
This was the last movie to feature all the original Python's together before the death of Graham Chapman, it was also the groups last movie altogether, there were no more after this unfortunately. Clearly the decision was also made to go back to their roots with this movie. The more coherent story angle that was used in their previous two films was jettisoned and their good old fashioned collection of surreal sketches was used as the main basis. The main big difference this time was the added bonus that the movie was in fact more of a musical number, albeit a more twisted dark musical of course ([i]South Park[/i] eat your heart out).

Now when I say the movie goes back to their old routine of surreal sketches, they do...but the sketches aren't exactly the same as their old work. Oh no, in this movie the individual sketches are actually much longer and are almost micro movies within the movie, they have their own beginning, middle and end...almost. Of course the quality of these sketches is much greater, they are much more elaborate, more in depth and like I said, actually have mini plots, none of them are just throw away quickies. Being a big-ish movie things have to appear much smoother and slicker than their TV days (or since their first sketch movie 'And Now for Something Completely Different'), and it is. Like their previous two excellent historical comedies proved, the combined skills and talents of the troupe, gelled with a solid budget, and you have gold.

From start to finish the film consists of reasonable sized skits, mostly original, although some ring a few bells, and some with pretty impressive musical song and dance numbers. Surprisingly there is little to no twisted animation from Gilliam, it kinda feels like there was supposed to be but they decided to turn them into live action sequences instead (my thoughts). Some of the smaller sketches certainly seem like they could of been animated, it felt very odd seeing a Python movie that didn't have their unique classic animations, a Python sketch movie that is. Its also quite stunning that the song and dance sequences are so good, you'd never expect it. The first big number we see is set in Yorkshire and has a distinct [i]Oliver Twist[/i] vibe to it in terms of visuals, choreography and the music, not to mention the actual size of the whole thing. That's not even the only dance number, there's another big one towards the finale, and another classic Eric Idle song in the middle too.

The movie is actually chopped up into chapters, chapters based on our progression through life, birth, middle age and death being obvious. Naturally there are some more silly chapters snuck in which are clearly there just for a stupid laugh, live organ transplants? Each of these chapters tends to have one main little sketch/story that runs for its short length, but there are the odd brief quickfire moments in between which are purely independent from the main little story. For example, with birth the main story is about a Yorkshireman (Palin) and his wife (Jones) who can't stop having kids because their faith won't allow him to use a condom. So he decides to sell all his kids (he and his wife have about 50 kids) for scientific experiments. Middle age is mainly based around an innocent yet dumb American couple (Palin and Idle) on vacation, they go to a fancy restaurant and order a conversation (not food) from the waiter (Cleese). Death, as you might have guessed, is all about a group of stuffy British people having a bit of a do (with yet more Americans on holiday I might add), when Death turns up and takes them all to the afterlife. In between these chapters are a few sub-chapters that deal with things like growing up, war etc...

Now these little sketches were always a mixed bag for me, some hit and some miss. The film initially starts off with a mock movie complete with its own credits, 'The Crimson Permanent Insurance'. Now this short introduction is a gem, absolutely brilliant and very dark. Its all about a group of elderly office clerks working for a major accounting firm, they are treated like slaves by the younger fitter suits. When one of them gets fired they revolt, kill all the young suits and then...errmmm...set sail as if the whole building was some kind of old galleon. They all dress like pirates using office equipment, run the building as if it were a ship and 'sail' to big cities and bring down their major finance corporations by attacking their skyscrapers, or 'boarding' them, and killing all the young suits within. It sounds completely insane, and it is, what do you expect from Monty Python. Thing is, its so well filmed, it looks great visually...effects wise, its imaginative and I believe could be an actual full length movie in its own right (think 'Pirates of the Caribbean'...with OAP's, and good). The same can't be said for all of the content of course, some is just weak and not particularly funny (the middle aged American couple) whilst other bits are just disturbing (again...live organ transplants?). But one such highlight that must be mentioned is of course Mr Creosote, the enormous fat bloke who goes into a restaurant and eats so much that he explodes in a shower of innards and bodily fluids.

Its definitely a more adult movie from the Python troupe this time. Previous movies were always cheeky with the quick blink and you'll miss it bit of nudity perhaps, the odd swear word, the odd hint of gore etc...but mostly things were more suggested or simply sexual innuendos which the kids wouldn't understand. In this film there is quite a bit of blood on show, some profanity and a lot of nudity! Hell I remember watching some scenes with my parents and being really embarrassed, all the sexy girls running with their boobs out, or Cleese teaching his class sex education by actually having sex in front of them! Twas so awkward and naughty for the time. Yet seeing this at a young age (dad is a fan) and I do recall not understanding things, not getting the meanings. Watching now as an adult it is very different and opens up the film so much more, being able to understand all the dirty adult stuff, plus all the nudity is now so tame.

Its not quite as good as I remember it to be frank, plus of course its dated pretty badly now. Its generally like all of the Python work, some of it is brilliantly funny, brilliantly written and brilliantly performed, whilst some of it just misses the target badly and would fall on flat ears. I do enjoy the film, it is engaging and it offers some nuggets of comedy gold without a doubt. I just kinda think at times it doesn't feel like a Python movie, it feels too slick, too flashy, you tend to expect the cheapness of the TV series or the earlier movies that just looked cheap. At times it feels like a compilation of clips from other movies, you half expect to see something from 'Time Bandits' pop up. Its a strong movie, I just feel it could of been better, it isn't a patch on the two movies they made before this, one featured a bloke named Arthur, the other a bloke named Brian.
½ December 27, 2015
A Monty Python movie with its moments.
November 23, 2015
Another wonderfully tasteless, vulgar Monty Python film as it takes an irrelevant view on the stages of life. Great stuff.
October 21, 2015
Today I was feeling somewhat sad, so I took this decision, let's see something fun.
I confess, of Monty Python I had seen only fragments, I supposed it was fun, comic, hilarious.
Well, I was sad, now I am totally depressed. I suppose it is my fault, I am unable to catch the british humor. But, I tell myself, no, there is n way that a vomit scene can be comic or fun. It is just disgusting.
Seriously, this movie is supposed to be comic. Probably it is me, unable to catch the so called English Humour, but I never loughed. Not even smiled. Never. Not once.
Here, on Rotten Tomatoes, it is written this is "one of the funniest" of Monty Python. I can't imagine the others.
Not comic, not fun.
Depressive.
½ October 17, 2015
Not the beginning of the end, but the end of monty python movies. Normally I wouldn't equate box office success with intrinsic value but in this case the correlation is well made. The movie didn't earn a lot of money and probably should have earned much less except no one could believe the first viewer;s descriptions of how bad it was.
½ October 2, 2015
I didn't think it was as good as the narrative based Python movies.
½ September 17, 2015
It's a little more episodic than Life of Brian and a little less quotable than Holy Grail, Meaning of Life still has enough laughs to keep you entertains throughout.
August 25, 2015
Every sperm is sacred.

This is a comedic retelling of how God created humans, the Earth, and society throughout history. There were numerous doubters and those that did not understand God's plan. Monty tells the tale in a way to ensure everyone understands God's design.

"Blame the Catholic Church for not letting me wear one of these little rubber things."

Terry Jones, director of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian, Personal Services, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, and Absolutely Anything, delivers Monty Python's Meaning of Life. The storyline for this picture is excellent and very well written. The comedic content is brilliant and the cast delivers awesome performances and includes John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, and Terry Jones.

"What's wrong with a kiss, boy? Hmm? Why not start her off with a nice kiss? You don't have to go leaping straight for the clitoris like a bull at a gate. Give her a kiss, boy."

I came across this on HBOGO and had to watch it. This is another film I am ashamed I had never seen but I am very glad I did. The comedic content was brilliant and so well done. This is on par with the all time classics like Animal House. I strongly recommend seeing this.

"In the bleak days of 1983."

Grade: A
August 7, 2015
Some very funny moments early on can't save this greatest disappointment in the Python Canon. This is a bleak, depressive, even mean-spirited film, and the style of humor just isn't what the pythons do best. I still absolutely love the schoolboy hymn; that section of the film contains bits of undeniable brilliance, but the movie as a whole is rancid. It is, when viewed in totality, an abomination of arrogant, surly assumptions which was the apparent product of personal acrimony and creative burnout. it is in every way the antithesis of the joy and sparkle that Monty Python brought to the world in its earlier work. I still quote it, there are amazing moments, but the loathsomeness of the full picture cannot be ignored. It is these great moments that earn the single star, for a picture which does not belong in a galaxy with stars (I hate the galaxy song, by the way).
½ July 11, 2015
The Meaning of Life is divided into multiple sketches that array from tediously stale to hysterically funny.
½ June 21, 2015
Not my favourite Monty Python movie, but there were some funny bits. Python is always worth a watch.
June 8, 2015
Monty Python's last film is delightfully funny.
April 12, 2015
Compared to the holy grail and the life of Brian, this really reaches their level. Several chapters in life so to speak are portraited in a satirical manner, but very few times are actually funny. A intense goal crossing the border of provocation with lots of issues of sex, life, birth, nudity, wall street, officers and so on gives a broad specter of elements concerning life itself. But, again all in all, few scenes are funny, though the thought behind them maybe works out better as ideas.
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