Monty Python: The Meaning of Life

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (UK, 1983, 107 mins.) Searching for the core truths of existence? Wondering what life’s really all about? Or maybe you just want to see how far a bunch of irreverent Englishmen are willing to go for joke. You may sit back, but don’t expect to relax much as Britain’s most famous comedy troupe relentlessly bombards the fortress of good taste. Following on the heels of mock histories such as The Search for the Holy Grail and The Life of Brian, directors Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam take a surrealist turn in this film, for example in the first sequence, when they turn an office building into a ship that fires filing cabinets like cannonballs. The smiles induced by their jokes are matched by just as many opportunities to feel offended, until you remember that any time you think you’ve hit upon the ultimate meaning of life, you’ve just set yourself up to be the butt of a Monty Python routine. At least you’re in good company.