As the title of this post indicates, I am about to launch into paying way too much attention to an almost-20-year-old movie featuring John Goodman as the King of England. But first, I should explain that this post can really be attributed to the fact that I recently re-watched The Wedding Singer after not seeing it in approximately a decade. Though I very much enjoyed that movie when I was in high school, upon reexamination I can confidently say that The Wedding Singer is actually a terrible movie. Now, it probably does not shock you that a movie created primarily as a vehicle for giving Adam Sandler an excuse to grow a mullet is bad, but boy, do I remember thinking it was hilarious at the time.
Anyway, re-watching The Wedding Singer and realizing how bad it is made me think I should re-watch some of the other '90s movies I thought were great, just to see if they have withstood the test of time. The first movie that popped into my head as a candidate? King Ralph. I am not entirely sure why that movie came to mind, but that did not stop me from spending a shitload of time Googling it today. Because I would like to have something to show for all that hard work, I will now share with you the things you learn when you Google "King Ralph." Let's explore.King Ralph entry, IMDB.com
The IMDB page for King Ralph reminds us of some key facts, like that the movie was released in 1991 and the tagline was "A comedy of majestic proportions." It also tells us the top five plot keywords for the movie, which are:
- British Parliament
- Tea Ceremony
Unfortunately, the IMDB trivia for the movie is pretty lackluster; the most interesting fact reveals that "John Goodman did his own singing." Weak.
Search result No. 2: King Ralph page on Wikipedia
Here's where our research starts to get interesting. According to the Wikipedia entry on King Ralph, the movie was "a box office flop." Could that be true? I seem to recall it playing very well to the elementary school demographic; I, for one, found the movie to be extremely clever.
On the "Talk" page for the entry, we learn about some of the editorial struggles inherent in characterizing a complex movie like King Ralph. For example, one editor asks:
Why delete what I added about Ralph meeting with the Zambezi king? It lays the foundation for Ralph's announcements to Parliament near the end of the movie. The way the plot outline appears, it's a bolt out of the blue. GBC 22:04, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Search result No. 3: Amazon.com
There are currently 25 customer reviews of King Ralph on Amazon.com, but I think this one gets to the heart of things best:
Search result No. 4: Video results for "King Ralph"
Google is helpful enough to provide us with an overview of some relevant video search results for the term "King Ralph," which is good, because it reminds us that the world is such a vast place that it actually contains multiple people who have taken the time to convert clips from this movie to Internet format. Evidently, someone also made a Ralph/Sarah Palin mashup-type thing--Personally, I think this is all the proof we need that the movie is still relevant.
Search result No. 5: King Ralph movie reviews on Rotten TomatoesRotten Tomatoes is a site that scores movies by aggregating reviews and then translating positive and negative feedback into a percentage score on something called a Tomatometer. Currently, King Ralph has a 25% score, which is not that great. I decided to check out some of the linked reviews and found this original New York Times writeup by Janet Maslin from February 15, 1991.
According to Maslin, "The sight of Mr. Goodman in a kilt trying to play Frisbee with the royal corgis is worth a lot. But when Ralph begins trying to leave his mark on Buckingham Palace . . . the film loses a little of its spark. The sight of electric trains and pinball machines in the palace is almost overkill." Clearly, what the nearsighted Maslin is seeing as the movie's fatal flaw is what even some random Amazon.com reviewer was able to correctly notice as its most hilarious virtue: it's funny, because he doesn't know how to be a king!
In conclusion, there is literally no reason this post needed to ever be written.