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.
Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars.
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 the disqualification, the outline of a body microphone pack can be seen through Hal's sport coat (rear waistband). See more »
Eventually all of this would pass, and the memory of it would give way to embellishment and fantasy and... outright distortion. Until it was hard for Hal Hefner to remember what he was really like back then, when he still carried in his head the sound a of a made-up perfect voice. A voice that could speak its heart. A voice he used wish he had, until the day he stopped wishing he sounded like anyone else and just started talking as he was.
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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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