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.
Coming of age in Plainsboro, New Jersey. High school student Hal Hefner stutters. On the evening his parents stop arguing and separate, 43 miles away at the state tournament, his school's legendary debater, Ben Wekselbaum, goes blank mid-sentence, Ben's teammate Ginny Ryerson doesn't get a first-place trophy, and the world changes. That fall, to Hal's amazement, Ginny recruits him for the debate team, mentors him, and will be his partner. He still has his stutter, but he works hard and he falls in love with Ginny. On the day of the first debate of the season, the world changes again. From then until the day of the state tournament, Hal has a lot to sort out. Is love rocket science? Written by
After Ginny first speaks with Hal on the school bus, we are show a shot of Hal looking out the window at her, the bus pulls off and we notice that the first window behind him is a emergency exit and the next holds a wheelchair lift. When we cut back to an internal shot of the bus, we can see there is no wheelchair lift on the bus. See more »
You know, Ginny said I won't be her real partner for months. And until then, I'm, like... the mascot. The disfluent mascot. The disfluent mascot who's not getting a BJ.
Like an aardvark.
No, that was a joke, Heston... there isn't a debate mascot.
I, for some reason, was convinced that it was an aardvark.
C'est la vie.
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I'm surprised that this film elicits so many negative reviews here. I enjoyed reading the rant by the guy who spells cello "chello." I think that pretty much explains it. Literacy will be required to appreciate this movie.
This has to be the best dialog in any film ever made with a stutterer as a central character.
I found the performances letter-perfect; not a false note anywhere. This is a movie where even the bit parts are played by well-cast actors, not producers' pretty boyfriends or girlfriends. I loved the girl in the washroom with the nosebleed, for example. Perfect.
Rushmore did not come to mind while I watched this film, nor did any of the other "quirky" films named here by other reviewers. But I did think of it as a companion piece to "Welcome to the Dollhouse." Both set in NJ, and both with central characters at the bottom of their school social ranking, and coping with their realities better than one would think.
I particularly liked the relationship between adults and kids in this film. The adults (parents and teachers) are wise about the kids, and the kids are just as wise about the adults. The tone was just right.
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