review for Monty Python's The Meaning of Life on AllMovie

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983)
by Brendon Hanley review

Though their work as a television comedy troupe ended in 1974, Monty Python would intermittently reunite for features, including 1975's Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 1979's The Life of Brian, and 1983's The Meaning of Life. Unlike Brian, their most cohesive effort, Meaning is a likably scattershot collection of vignettes, reminiscent of the Monty Python's Flying Circus series and their first film, 1971's And Now for Something Completely Different. The film swings wildly between pointed hilarity and just plain silliness; the humor is also notably coarser and more vulgar their previous work, exemplified by the classic scene with a gastrologically challenged overeater. In this outing, the directing tasks were handed over to Terry Jones, but Meaning retains the idiosyncratic visual style established by longtime Python director Terry Gilliam. The comedy unexpectedly garnered the Grand Jury Prize at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival.