Goofball with a golden voice Celine Dion (pictured above kissing an inanimate deer) probably doesn't believe that Miss Piggy is a real person, but she might! Dion is playing it extremely straight in the the press she's been doing for her cameo in Muppets Most Wanted. The pride and joy of Quebec said that her time on the movie's set was "beyond the honor" and marveled at "how alive they are" (meaning the Muppets, which are puppets):
She also contributed to this paragraph of Variety's article on the Muppets' sustained comeback, which began with the Jason Segel-co-written 2011 reboot, The Muppets:
In Muppets Most Wanted, which opens March 21, Piggy goes head to head with another diva—Celine Dion, who makes her bigscreen debut. In a showstopping number at the climax of the film, the pair belt out "Something So Right," an emotional ballad. "I've had the opportunity to sing with some of the greatest voices of all time," Dion says, "but none of them could compare to Miss Piggy." When asked to describe her collaborator's voice, she assesses: "Very sensual."
Dion, a complete and utter ham, doesn't so much as crack a smile during the number. It feels very much like a normal serving of Dion's signature melodrama, except for the fact that a felt pig is doing most of the heavy lifting. Dion's deadpan, if it's a deadpan (it's probably a deadpan, but hey, who knows what goes on the mind in the heads of French Canadian uber-divas), is a perfect little capsule of camp.
Dion's performance (and performance in interviews about her performance) is a wonderful illustration of the kind of silliness that the Muppets draw out of people, just by being around them. The entirety of Muppets Most Wanted is that, actually. It's looser and less precious about what the Muppets mean than the 2011 movie that preceded it. It is very much in touch with how over-the-hill the Muppets are, how wack their 40-year-old brand of entertaining would be if they were left to their own devices. It runs on self-awareness (the opening number is about sequels and how lackluster they generally are), but relies on the Muppets to be completely oblivious (only one of them notices that Kermit has been replaced with his conniving Russian doppelganger, Constantine).
The one-liners are frequent and Pixar-sharp. I'm so tempted to spoil my very favorite one, but I won't, because I want you to enjoy this movie—if it seems like something you would enjoy, you will.
[Image via AP]