Seventeen year old Jason Slocumb, Jr. - Igby to most that know him - comes from east coast old money, the second son of self-absorbed and controlling Mimi Slocumb and medically-diagnosed schizophrenic Jason Slocum, Sr., the latter who has for several years been institutionalized in a Maryland psychiatric facility. While Igby's economics-studying Columbia-attending older brother Ollie Slocum has embraced and aspires to continue their wealthy life, Igby has rebelled against it, considering his brother a fascist (although he could soften that label to Republican). Because of Jason's situation, Mimi has largely left the role of male role model for Ollie and Igby to their godfather, D.H. Banes. Igby's rebellion has led to him being kicked out of one prep school after another, the latest, a military academy, from which Igby escapes before he can graduate. As such, Mimi and D.H. arrange for Igby to live in New York with Ollie for the summer while working for D.H. renovating some of his ... Written by
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Why couldn't she have been a fucking smoker.
This has nothing to do with her being in such wonderful shape. The cause of our trouble was our inability to come up with a drug short of paint thinner, that would be at least somewhat novel to her system. She's built up a tolerance to everything.
A tolerance? She's taking her fucking afternoon nap.
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My first thought when I finished watching this film was, `I can't believe I really enjoyed a film that starred a Culkin.' My subsequent conclusions about the film were not as easily reached.
When I decided to watch this film, I was expecting The Royal Tennenbaums: Part 2. Rich family, the story takes place in a big city, eccentric characters. While both films share these elements, they are very different in that I considered The Royal Tennenbaums to be mostly a comedy; while Igby's few comedic moments are so dark one almost feels badly for chuckling. What this film is really about is family, but not just in the traditional sense. (What is more traditional than a disapproving mother who is more concerned about herself than anyone else in the family, a clinically schizophrenic father, and two brothers: the elder a narcissist (if not practical) and the younger, a rebellious 16 year old who is forced to change schools more often than most of us change our Glade Plug-Ins.) It is about family in any sense: Friends, strangers, anyone Igby encounters and tries to gain acceptance from.
Culkin's Igby, who looks like a waifish Harry Potter without the `imp factor', is an extremely conflicted character. We have seen rebellious types portrayed ad nauseum in films for decades, but it is a rare occasion when this person is both sympathetic and extremely intelligent. The character draws you in enough that you actually want to know why he acts the way he does, and you truly want him to find happiness. Unfortunately, it appears that when a door opens, it slams just as quickly. Culkin is truly fantastic in this role. He shoulders a character that is both intelligent enough to defend himself, yet vulnerable enough to give the impression of fragility. The rest of the cast is also decent, particularly Jeff Goldblum as D.H., a larger than life character who is conflicted in his own right. The story was just complicated enough to keep me very interested, while endearing and thought-provoking enough for me to reflect on it long after it was over.
I'm not entirely sure who I would recommend this film to, but if you are looking for a thought-provoking drama with some great acting, dialogue and story line I would definitely check this movie out. It has received some rave reviews and I believe they are well-deserved.
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