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.
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.
When a young woman rejects her current overweight suitor in a restaurant, he unexpectedly places a curse on her. The film then moves on to her sisters. One is a happily married woman with a psychiatrist husband and three kids. Unfortunately the husband develops an unnatural fascination for his 11 year old son's male classmates, fantasizes about mass killing in a park, and masturbates to teen magazines. One of his patients has an unrequited fascination for the third sister. Meanwhile the apparently stable 40 year marriage of the sister's parents suddenly unravels when he decides he has had enough and wants to live a hermit's life in Florida. Obviously, the whole movie is slightly warped in its viewpoint and certainly presents abnormal relationships among all of its parties. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Gradually, as I watched this movie, I became aware that I was witnessing some of the most powerful and honest acting, writing, and directing I had ever experienced. And I'm glad, because if this material had been attempted by anyone without extreme skill and sensitivity, it would have been a monstrous disaster. As it is, I don't think I would add it to my DVD collection. I don't know if I could watch it again, and I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable people seeing it on my shelf unless they knew me well. There are moments of great hope in this movie, when you think misery may finally give way to happiness. There are moments of great honesty, when a character says just what you'd expect them to say, and you realize how "safe" every other movie character has been in comparison. The humor that other reviews talk about is not the kind of humor that makes me laugh, personally. It's the dark, visceral humor of human weakness, meanness and even pathology. I still appreciate it for what it is, and it is used in a profound and delicate way. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who is willing to accept that life, and especially sexual life, is really much more complex and difficult than we usually admit. I recommend watching it alone, or with a friend or partner with whom you can discuss the most emotionally difficult topics. This movie will test you if you stick with it, but you'll know you saw something profound.
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