Is it laugh out loud funny? That depends. Do you like “The Family Guy’s” brand of over-the-top and sometimes over-the-line sense of humor? If the answer is Yes, then Yes, you’ll find the direct-to-video feature-length “Family Guy” movie “Stewie Griffin: The Untold Funny” to be laugh out loud funny.
As with the show, the film’s best moments are its quick takes on popular culture, such as Peter’s version of “Family Feud”, Jesus entertaining the masses, Stewie as fugitive Saddam Hussein, and Elmer Fudd finally nailing Bugs Bunny. Like in the show, these quick takes are just that — “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane’s drive-by at American pop culture.
As to the story, “Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story”, as the title may imply, is all about megalomaniacal tyke Stewie, who goes on a quest for answers after a near-death experience at the public pool. To this end, Stewie and talking family dog Brian rides cross-country with pervert Quagmire to San Francisco, where Stewie meets up with a fellow that looks suspiciously like him, only much older. Through a series of circumstances, Stewie ends up in the future, where he discovers that Meg has become a man named Ron, Chris is now a cop married to a foul mouth she-bitch, and the adult Stewie is a total and complete loser who has never gotten laid.
What’s a baby with visions of world domination, matricide, but who can’t change his own diapers, to do?
At almost 90 minutes, there are a lot of laughs to be had with “Stewie Griffin”, but as a caveat, some of the jokes are pretty crude. Also, without the constraints of TV network rules, the direct-to-video feature takes full advantage of insinuated sex, mild nudity, and foul language. Peter and Chris’ future wife drops the “F” bomb like it’s going out of style, and there’s a particularly disgusting almost sex scene in the tub with Lois and an obscenely obese Peter. Quagmire’s perversity also seems to have gotten a lot more perverse, if that’s possible.
Needless to say, this is not for the kiddies.
“Stewie Griffin” actually goes the post-modern route, with the entire “family” shown as actors doing “The Family Guy” TV show. As in real life, the show within the show was cancelled, and the cast reunites to make a movie — the “Untold Story” of Stewie, that is. In a brief montage of “whatever happened to…”, we see what became of the actors once the show was cancelled. Most hilarious of all is Lois, who gets into a fight with a cop on the side of the road, and moonlights as a stripper at private bachelor parties in motel rooms.
“Stewie Griffin” is crass, irreverent, and fiendishly clever. Creator/writer/director/pencil sharpener Seth MacFarlane (who also voices many of the characters) crams a ton of jokes into the movie. As with the show, you’ll probably need a second or third viewing to get all the jokes; as such the film is most definitely open to repeat viewing. And as with the show, the film’s most hilarious gags all involve its seemingly off-the-cuff drive-by stabs at pop culture. Whenever a character makes mention of something that supposedly happened outside the episode’s continuity, get ready for a belly laugh.
Once again, this is not a children’s show, and this is not a children’s movie. If the “Family Guy” TV show pushed the boundaries of good taste, “Stewie Griffin” basically urinates all over it. While it doesn’t completely go all the way — the nudity and sex are still mostly insinuated (mind you, not that I really want to see fat Peter screwing skinny Lois, yuck) — it goes just far enough to justify being released direct-to-video. Could it have made it in the theaters? I doubt it. There’s not enough of a “major” story here to justify a theatrical release.
For fans of MacFarlane’s brand of animated mayhem and irreverent toilet humor mixed with dead-on observations, “Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story” is a must-have addition to your collection. It’s basically the TV show, except longer, with cussing, and somehow, someway, Peter looks even fatter than usual. Why is that? I guess only MacFarlane knows. “Peter Griffin: The Untold Story” is on the horizon, perhaps? One can only hope.
Seth MacFarlane (director) / Seth MacFarlane (screenplay)
CAST: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mike Henry, Mila Kunis