Pee Wee’s Big Adventure was the highlight of SXSW Film for me. The vibe in the theater was easily the most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done during the festival. Sure, I could have cursed the line and waited to watch it in the comfort of my home on Netflix, but then I would have missed sharing in Pee Wee’s world with a room of his fans.
The mood was so vibrant and elevated, that it came to me why people have a deep attachment to Herman. In the world he creates there is no greed, politics, or religion. Herman makes life more silly in his 1950’s parallel universe and life should be a little silly sometimes. The score by Mark Mothersbaugh added the right touch of whimsical, naturally, keeping with the child-like wonder of the film.
Judd Apatow, who produced Pee Wee’s Big Holiday, said that John Lee, the brilliant mind behind Wonder Showzen, “..had the imagination, creativity and ability to think outside the box that any Pee Wee Herman movie needs, so there really wasn’t a question after we met with him that he would be the director.”
Paul Reubens is interviewed on the red carpet | Kelly West/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Paul Ruebens felt delighted to take up his beloved character again. Asked how he thinks Pee Wee has evolved over the years, he humbly answers, “There’s no evolution. I’m really just the character, I let the filmmakers and writers bring it to life before I do.” He even gave credit to Phil Hartman before himself, “He’s really the one who talked me into being this character, it was incredible working with him in the beginning.”
People have been calling Big Holiday “a queer love story”, but I can’t understand why audiences or critics immediately give the intimacy of friends a sexual label. These too cool dudes just happen to like the same thing. Like, all the same things. I’d want to party with someone like that too. Not one journalist has pointed out that Pee Wee’s utopia doesn’t tolerate bullying or that Pee Wee includes everyone from every single demographic, even the Amish and it’s a hard market, believe me. The slight sexuality that was involved was blissfuly unnoticed by Pee Wee, who’s main passions include root beer barrels and getting to a birthday party. The real point is missed in everything I’ve read and that point is Pee wee’s Big Holiday is clean and silly fun. It will reconnect you to what’s more important, your childhood. The only way to make it any better is to see it with a milkshake. Twice.