Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Squid and the Whale

Amongst the DVD's I picked up yesterday I found this rather interesting American film. If an American film has the F-word within the first three minutes, it is already different....

It's about the breakup of a highly intellectual family ('does your teacher know that both your parents have PhDs in literature?') dominated by a father who used to be a successful writer but now his wife has eclipsed him. He of course has the typical 1980s look of an academic, flowing shoulderlength hair and a beard. When the father moves out, the custody arrangements for the children are Monday, Tuesday and Saturday with him, and every second Thursday, and the rest of the time with mum (to make sure the split is even). The older of the two boys adores his father and totally swallows his opinions, whereas the younger one wants to stay with mum all the time, takes to drink and behaves rather badly at school. Everything is intellectualised ('that really hurts my feelings'), ('Frank, you'll get your amphibians' - 'Dad, turtles are reptiles'), all arguments are so appallingly reasonable; anger is only expressed during tennis games.

While it describes fairly tragic events with a fairly predictable end, the film is also very funny what with Dad's total certainty that his intellect will overcome every challenge, emotional or otherwise. It's worth checking out - but very strange that it got to Tajikistan..

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varske said...

You'd think Four Weddings and a Funeral was a suitable film for children, but it was only after the kids had watched it about 5 times that I realised it began with the F word for about 5 minutes. Still as they used to say at school, "don't worry, we have heard it all at home already". Mother's reputation in shreds.