Review of “The Squid and the Whale”

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Over the past couple of years I have grown a fondness for Jess Eisenberg. It all started, really, when I saw him in Zombieland as the nerdy college student who shuts himself in to play WOW and eat pizza rather than go out to make friends.

Being a sucker for nerds, it is needless to say that I quickly fell for his character, Columbus, and, through the eight other times watching Zombieland, constantly questioned why no one in the movie would find his character attractive. I did.

So I looked up other films that Jesse Eisenberg starred in, one of them being “The Squid and the Whale”, which I found this past weekend in the $4.99 and up bin at Best Buy and knew I had to get it. I don’t regret this decision at all.

“The Squid and the Whale” is the autobiographical coming of age story of two brothers, Frank (Owen Kline) and Walt (Jesse Eisenberg), whose writer parents (Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney) decide to get a divorce. With a greater animosity growing between the parents, the tension also grows between the two brothers. Walt takes his father’s side and Frank his mother’s, and although they have shared custody of the children, “mom’s days” and “dad’s days” start to become blurred as Walt decides to not go back to his mother’s house and Frank would prefer to be with his mother more.

While watching this movie, I couldn’t help but be reminded of “Running with Scissors”, the comedic movie based off the memoir of the same title. The atmosphere of both movies is very similar, and I think the fan of one could easily be a fan of both.

The characters portrayed in the movie are funny, yet disturbing at times. With the father’s bad advice to Walt, the mother’s numerous love affairs, Walt’s need to be exactly like his father, and Frank’s sudden attraction to drinking beer, the movie throws many curve balls that will either leave you laughing, or thinking “What the…?”

I recommend this movie to anyone with a sense of humor for taboo topics.

Grade: A+

Similar films: “Running with Scissors”

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