From the time of its announcement, Absolutely Anything sounded like a comedy fan’s wet dream. It’s a new feature from Monty Python’s Terry Jones (who directed their Life of Brian and Meaning of Life, and co-directed Holy Grail), starring present-day Python torch carriers Simon Pegg and Eddie Izzard, plus vocal performances by Jones and his fellow surviving Pythons John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam, and Robin Williams in his final (off)screen performance. (He recorded his dialogue a mere three weeks before his death in 2014). It began rolling into theaters in Europe and Asia in August of last year, but has been weirdly MIA from American screens.
That’ll change this month. Deadline reports Atlas Distribution Co., a boutique distributor best known for (gulp) the Atlas Shrugged movies, will release Absolutely Anything in U.S. theaters on May 12. It is the first non-documentary film reunion for the Python crew since the group’s final movie, The Meaning of Life, back in 1983 (though in recent years, they’ve appeared together on stage and at film festivals); it will also likely be the last for this iteration of the group, as Jones announced shortly after the film’s British release that he’s been diagnosed with a rare form of dementia.
So with all that talent and legacy in play, why has it taken Absolutely Anything so long to reach our shores? It could be the brutal reviews it received elsewhere; The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called it “just depressing, a sub-Douglas Adams sci-fi comedy which looks like mediocre kids’ TV with a dismal script and cheap’n’cheerless production values,” and Variety’s Peter Debruge noted, “It’s devastating to think how far Jones has fallen in the four decades since Holy Grail, in which he got more laughs banging a few coconuts together than he musters from his entire movie.” Still, who’re we kidding, it’s a Monty Python reunion with Simon Pegg and Robin Williams — I’m gonna see it anyway.
Here’s the trailer: