There is nothing more urgent on Netflix today than the subversive Paul Reubens’ return as Pee-Wee Herman in “Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday.”
Reubens, 63 (yes, he is 63 now!), reprises the delightfully creepy Pee-Wee in a full-length movie produced by the actor and his fellow Jew, famed funny man Judd Apatow.
It’s been nearly three decades since Reubens starred in Tim Burton’s “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,” in which the man-child’s bike is stolen by a bully, launching a hilariously bizarre nationwide search — including a stop at The Alamo and a biker dive, where his bar dance to “Tequila” became mythical.
In “Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday,” we find our twisted hero working in a diner, blissfully content with his small town life, much like Jim Carrey’s Truman Burbank in “The Truman Show.”
That all changes one day when a strapping biker played by hunky “True Blood” and “Magic Mike” star, Joe Manganiello, comes to town and convinces him that it’s time to live life. But grow up? Not so much.
“Big Holiday” premiered at the South by Southwest festival this weekend to mostly good reviews. “This movie may not reach the heights of the original, but it definitely isn’t a fail,” a Forbes film critic wrote.
It’s a triumphant return for Reubens, who many wrote off after his 1991 arrest for indecent exposure in a porn theater and his 2001 bust on child porn charges that were later dropped after he pleaded guilty to a minor obscenity charge.
Reubens told The New York Times that he was happy to bring Pee-Wee back after a two-decade absence.
“I’d been trying to get a new Pee-wee movie made for several years. I stopped doing it for a while because I really felt like I had enough of it. And then I started to feel like there was more to do. It just turned out to take longer than I thought it would,” he said.
“Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday” is only available on Netflix.