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.
Justin is a teenager boy, who has an oral obsession with his thumb. His mother seems to be a normal housekeeper, but she has her own obsessions as well, like a crush on a TV-star. The only person who's aware of Justin's problem is his father, manager in a store, but none of his advices seem to be working for Justin. The kid is signed up in a debate workshop, but the thing isn't going well, because he has his mind in a pretty classmate and, of course, in his thumb, affecting all the rest of his classes. So, Justin is a loner kid in the school, who prefers to lock himself in the bathroom and suck his thumb. Justin's dentist, a mystical-hippie person, will try to help to overcome his thumb problem, through the hypnosis. But the school's psychologist will diagnose Justin with the Attention Deficit Disorder, and will prescribe him some drugs. Suddenly, Justin's problem with his thumb will disappear, becoming an hyperactive genius, winning several debate contests and the admiration from his... Written by
"Thumbsucker" doesn't suck, at all! It's also not just another teen-angst flick. It is a funny, thoughtful, and enjoyable movie. I would give this two thumbs up! Although the movie revolves around Justin, a thoughtful, sensitive, teenager who happens to have a rather nasty habit of sucking his thumb, it also shows his relationship with his parents, brother, teachers, his peers and his dentist, who all undergo their own personal development during the course of the movie.
Justin and his brother call their parents by their first names, and in the case of the Cobbs, this doesn't seem to increase or decrease the level of respect or obedience teenagers have for their parents. Justin and his mother Audrey seem to be alike - they both have crushes: he, for a girl in his debating class, and she, for an actor on daytime TV.
"Thumbsucker" shows that teenagers with a lot of parental love and support can also end up feeling alienated anyway. The path to adulthood is often fraught with anguish, mostly self-inflicted. But sometimes, meeting a mean girl who'd break your heart in a second can do that too.
The casting is excellent - I hadn't checked the cast list before watching it, and was pleasantly surprised to find so many known and good actors in it. Keanu Reaves was a surprise, and a hoot to watch. Tilda Swinton is one cool lady, and I will certainly be looking out for her other movies.
13 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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