“The Simpsons Movie,” review by Susan Granger

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So the lights go down and Homer Simpson says, “I can’t believe we’re paying to see something we could see at home on TV for free. Everyone in this theater is a big sucker!”

What’s it all about? Well, let’s see…despite Grandpa’s ominous warning, Homer falls in love with a pig, dares son Bart to skateboard naked through town, ignores environmental pleas from daughter Lisa and wife Marge’s disapproval and becomes a prime polluter, potentially dooming his hometown of Springfield, located somewhere near Ohio, Nevada, Kentucky and Maine. Meanwhile, Lisa falls in love with an Irish boy named Colin and baby Maggie says her first word. (Nah, I’m not going to tell you what it is.) And somewhere towards the end, Homer has an epiphany (look it up) with an Inuit in Alaska.

After 18 television seasons and 400 episodes, America’s most irreverent dysfunctional family has finally made it to the big screen – and, yes, it’s worth the price of admission.

Amusement comes in many forms, beginning with Ralph Wiggum standing on the 20th Century Fox logo singing along with the company fanfare and continuing through Arnold Schwarzenegger as President of the United States: “I’m here to lead, not to read.”

Director David Silverman and his gang of writers make the most of the vocal talent – Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith, as the family and various neighbors, along with characters created by Hank Azaria, Henry Shearer, Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, plus cameos by Albert Brooks and Tom Hanks. While it drags a bit in spots, they’re few and far-between. Mostly, it’s really funny. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Simpsons” is a cleverly conceived, subversive 9, certainly the best Simpsons Movie – so far.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.