Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.
In an apartment on Manhattan a couple of friends from the New York upper-class meet almost every night to talk about social mobility, play bridge and discuss Fourier's socialism; the cynic Nick, the philosophical Charlie, party girl Sally and austenite Audrey. They are joined by Tom. His background is much simpler and he is critical of their way of life. But he finds a soul mate in Audrey, who without his knowledge falls in love with him. Written by
I saw "Metropolitan" a couple of months ago, was fairly impressed with it on its own talky, cerebral terms, and took it back to the video store. Since then, it's grown on me to the point where I have to place its script up there with the best of Chekhov and "The Big Chill." Concerning the Manhattan prep and deb season of some unspecified year past, "Metropolitan" transports your mind into a social order that exists just beyond our consciousness: where young socialites discuss Fourier without conviction, Jane Austen without having read her work, and love without never having really been in it. It's sweet, smart and touching all at the same time. The characters are flawed and doomed -- though, as one character notes, not doomed to failure, but just doomed to a normal, boring lifestyle -- and we can't help but love them for it. Go to Blockbuster and rent it tonight; if you can't find it there, go to Amazon, order it, and allow 1-2 weeks for delivery. It's that good. This was Whit Stillman's first of three similarly themed films; the second, "Barcelona," is subpar, but "The Last Days of Disco" closes the trilogy with a delicious return to form.
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