It’s time for another excursion into the absurdity of Pauly Shore. This time, in honor of Earth Day. Yes, we watched Bio-Dome. Now we’re going to stop chanting “Free mahi-mahi, free mahi-mahi!” just long enough to examine why this oddball nonsense merits our time.
Annemarie, do us the honor of guessing why I chose Bio-Dome. Tell us what you thought of it, of course, but also explain the plot to the people, just because I think it will be fun.
A: Brooke has chosen Bio-Dome to watch because it has a very loose tie to environmental issues, in that Pauly Shore and his bro partner in crime, Stephen Baldwin, learn a very valuable lesson about how not to totally trash the earth. I’m quite glad you called this “oddball nonsense” because that’s precisely how I’d describe it, plus or minus a few “un-necessaries” and “stupids.” Because as you can probably guess, I’m not a big fan of this movie.
Remember in Clueless, when Cher talks about the futility of finding meaning in a Pauly Shore movie? Of course you do. Even as “clueless” as Cher Horowitz is, she knew what was up. And believe me, I don’t think his movies have aged well. Some silly moments prevail, but mostly, one simply has to have a taste for Shore, and I don’t think I have it. Slash I definitely don’t.
Let’s talk plot. Pauly & Stephen have hot environmentalist girlfriends, but they make poor excuses not to participate in their girlfriends’ passion. They somehow get themselves stuck in the new Bio-Dome science project with Kylie Minogue, another model science lady, and some boring scientists who we KNOW will “learn” to have fun from the bros. They quickly ruin literally everything and spend the rest of the film trying to clean up the decimated Bio-Dome. Of course, they prevail and not only get to hook up with the model science ladies, they somehow earn the original hot girlfriends back. What did I miss?
Brooke, fill me in on anything I’ve missed and why in reality this movie made the list.
B: Well, AM, you actually managed to wring more out of that plot than I thought possible, so job well done on that front. To be clear though, the chance to hook-up with the hot science ladies, and the subsequent refusal of that opportunity is meant to show how our lead idiots have matured and stuff. But, I think you perfectly captured the spirit of the thing, shenanigans wrapped around a very loosely plotted excuse to put Pauly Shore in a giant bubble where he can cause chaos.
You are correct that I chose for us to watch Bio-Dome at this precise moment because of Earth Day, but it landed on the list as a result of my belief that you not seeing the core Pauly Shore movies means you didn’t fully experience the ’90s. As our girl Cher said, there’s no point in looking for meaning here, but there is a point in you experiencing this blast from a simpler time, where literally any garbage could become a cult comedy favorite.
I confess I have a soft spot in my heart for Bio-Dome and Pauly Shore in general, but I will never, never, never claim that this is a good movie. And I definitely acknowledge that the chance of you liking this movie when you’re experiencing it for the first time 22 years out of context and with a grown ass brain is as remote as me coming around to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But we came into this whole ordeal knowing that, so let’s do what we do and chitty chat about this whole thing every which way.
If you had to pick one, what scene in this movie most amused you?
A: HA. I feel like I do have a better chance of converting you on the relative merits of the Childcatcher than you convincing me that Bio-Dome is good comedy. It hasn’t aged well AT ALL. And that’s probably a good thing. But my ranting must end, as you so eloquently put it, to chatter on about this silly thing.
Favorite scene? I’m partial to anytime Pauly & Steve aren’t on-screen, and also Joey Lauren Adams is adorable and a delight to watch. The only time I really laughed was hearing you and Justin quote this movie in all the weirdest spots.
See, here’s the thing about Pauly Shore comedy (oh man, I’m about to analyze this and we said we shouldn’t). I hear the words and mumblings coming out of his mouth and I don’t get it. I don’t know what he’s rambling about and yes, it’s 22 years out of context, but isn’t that the point? To not even get his gobbledegook? It’s along the same lines as Beavis & Butthead. The snickering was the entire punchline. I didn’t get them then, and I don’t get Shore now. I conceded that I found Son-in-Law charming, if ridiculous, but I find less here to get excited about.
Ok, Brooke. Let me know what you find funny about this movie, give me fave quotes (perhaps some you know by heart), and if you can, what is the deal, truly, with Pauly Shore? What is the ’90s obsession with him?
B: Oh, AM. The beauty of Pauly Shore in the ’90s was that he was unself-conscious in an era that was very much about conformity and expectations. Think back on all the functional family dramas and the robotic dances that the boy bands did and the formulaic nature of all entertainment. Sure, Pauly had his own schtick, but he was subversive. He bucked expectation. He said things like “munch on some grindage” and “I’m mingling” and “our home is the gar-den of e-den!” He flew his freak flag and it was hard not to respect that.
We’ve discussed before that Son-in-Law is my favorite Pauly flick by a good measure. I now find Bio-Dome amusing mostly for the memories it provides me of simpler times when Pauly antics were enough to crack me up (you’ll notice I didn’t mention Stephen, he sucks, always did). But even though it doesn’t hold the same charm for me that it once did, there are some choice quotes I can never resist repeating:
- “You like-y Leaky?”
- “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait a minute! You guys aren’t one of those freaky cults are you? Y’know, who dance naked and you want us to take off our clothes and feed us special punch?” ” No.” “Damn, we were so close!”
- “Mini tribal!”
- And of course that entire bit about shriveling up like a supermodel, it’s more the tone of voice and the expressions than the message, but you get it.
But enough of Pauly, I have an important question. AM, if you and I got stuck in the Bio-Dome, what misadventure would you lead us on first?
A: I can’t really see me as being the ringleader for shenanigans in a carefully constructed eco-sphere meant to save our asses when we inevitably ruin Earth and need to move to Mars. So I would instead lead us on an educational adventure, where we learn how to farm in our own poop, how to properly milk a goat, and what types of mushrooms will not kill us. You get the idea.
Brooke, what kind of misadventures do you think you’d be able to convince me of?
B: Listen, I’m totally down for ensuring the future of humanity, but I also like to have fun. So, we could do your things, but in the end, I would insist that we learn to cliff dive à la Casa Bonita. I would also host a dome-only Burning Man in the desert where we would make terrible art. There would be walk-and-talks through all of the regions. There would be hide-and-seek, there would be forts. There would be outdoor teas with goat cheese we made ourselves.
Tell me you don’t want in on all of that. I’ll wait here. And while you’re at it, tell me if there’s anything else we need to discuss here. Because like the time when Pauly Shore was good enough to deliver a hit comedy, I think we’re done.
A: Ok, fine. I concede. All of that sounds like an amazing use of the space. Casa Bonita-inspired waterfall jumping (although my fears of heights and drowning would preclude me from doing more than baby cliff jumps) is probably the perfect use of the jungle. And yes, desert weird drug art and classy AF tea parties also sound fun.
Thank you for letting us move on with our lives, presumably into an era where I no longer have to watch Pauly Shore movies? I suspect I have at least one more in my future, as Brooke recently discovered I have yet to see Encino Man… Until next time, Pauly, it’s been weird.
We’re treating our complexity starved minds to a documentary for our next effort — and a glorious one at that. We’re getting up-close-and-personal with RBG.
Main image credit: MGM Studios
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