Pee-wee’s Big Holiday (Film) Review


I was in the mood for a little nostalgia when I noticed this camp little baby had popped up on Netflix.

After last week’s excellent weep fest it seemed a good idea (to me) to spend 90 minutes on a road trip with Pee-wee, just for shits ‘n gigs. We’ll see how that turned out.

As usual, *spoilers ahoy!*

Pee-wee’s Big Holiday (2016)

Director: John Lee
Stars: Paul Reubens, Doug Cox, Joe Manganiello, Alia Shawkat

IMDB Synopsis: A fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday in this epic story of friendship and destiny.

You know what they say about men with small cars… they can’t give you a lift anywhere

My Review:

Pee-wee Herman is a funny little man and more than just a smidgen creepy, if we’re honest with ourselves. However, he might as well be Tommy ‘T Bone’ Lee the way people fall over him in his home town of Fairville. As Fairville is picturesque and PW has everything he needs to maintain a happy lifestyle, such as a job and a home, he’s never really left it.

All that changes when he meets a cool motherfucker in the diner who urges him to ‘live a little’. Turns out the stranger is Joe Manganiello of Magic Mike (2012) fame (and actually the most attractive man on the planet). He invites PW to his birthday party in NYC five days from now, advising him to hit the road rather that take a plane as it’ll be a better experience.

Pretty sure we all know the effect his milkshake has on the boys (girls, alley cats, nuns)

Inspired, The Creepy One embarks on a road trip of epic proportions to meet up with his BFF again. Will he get where he’s going without incident? Well, we’ll save the questions for the end but if that were the case this wouldn’t be much of a road trip now, would it?

PW’s Holiday sees him cross paths with an eclectic collection of characters, none more fucking fabulous than criminal minds, Pepper (Jessica Pohly), Freckles (Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s excellent Stephanie Beatriz) and PW’s name twin, Pee-wee (Shawkat).

Scream if you want to go faster, bitches

This rag-tag gang knock off a bank then kidnap our ‘hero’ as he’s leaving town, tie him up in a motel room and make plans to shut him up for good. Lucky for PW, Pee-wee the Girl has a soft spot and although they steal his car in the night, decide not to damage him too much.

Seriously, can I be in this gang?

Off the back of his first detour, Pee-wee teams up with a rather odd but kind Practical Joke Salesman who terrorises him at a snake farm. Later, he meets a kindly farmer with nine insatiable daughters, which sounds like a dream but PW is having none of it (the threat of being murdered by their father if he goes near them probably doesn’t help).

At this point it’s not clear to me what PW’s sexual orientation is but then again, it doesn’t matter one jot. Why should he be pigeon-holed? Whilst beating his nine suitors off (with a metaphorical stick only), PW tries to get a good nights sleep. The girls have other ideas.

When his new farmer friend drives our hero to the chapel the next morning, Pee-wee’s not delighted to find out he’s about to be wed to the girl of his choice.

A smorgasbord of lovely ladies and he still ain’t happy

Following his escape *spoiler alert*, PW meets a tour bus of hairdressers, lady aviator Penny King (Diane Salinger) (who flies him part way to NYC, until their flying car crashes) and Grizzly Bear Daniels (Brad William Henke), before stumbling across an Amish community who are more than happy to take him in.

Here, Pee-wee gets re-acquainted with his Bank Robber pals and finally has to concede defeat and team up with them, if he’s ever to get to New York in time. Will he make it?


Honestly though, will everyone’s favourite ventriloquist’s dummy lookalike make it to The Big Apple in time, if at all? Will Joe even care? Will you?

My Thoughts: 

It is what it is, honestly. It drives me nuts when people seriously review films like this, I mean, we’re all pretty sure of what we’ll be getting, aren’t we? I was disappointed there weren’t more cameos or well-known people playing themselves, but I was happy enough with what I got.

Who’d you rather?

I’m not sure I genuinely LOL’d at any point but I might have had a smile on my face a few times. The bromance between Joe and Pee-wee is probably the most heart-warming part of it, and I was a fan of the miniature towns both of them had recreated.

That’s about it. I don’t think I’m the biggest Pee-wee Herman fan after all. I remember enjoying Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) much more.

My Rating: 3/5 – It has a couple of moments but is generally a bit shit. In fact I might have to go to my Happy Place for a bit to try and forget (you’re welcome).

Did Jill find this road trip a little dry or would she do it all again just for the hell of it? Find out here, obvi.

It me