#1035 The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

The Royal Tenenbaums falls in the category of a director that my wife and I always enjoy, and whose work is consistently incredible. This film is on the list of “let’s buy it, and then let’s buy it again when then Criterion comes out,” for us, and we watched our Criterion Collection DVD with pride as we entered Anderson’s fully immersive world. We ahve seen this film so many times that we quoted throughout, and stayed silent for the rest of it. We shouted, “you sonofabitch!” We murmured, “She smokes.” We cheered, and cried, and held one another. We sang Elliott Smith.

It is simply a damn good film. The book cites it as “an extremely satisfying hybrid that is far too funny to be wholly tragic and far too glib to be profound,” but in many ways this review seems to not have the foresight that all of Anderson’s films are profound. Everything is. It says more about us than it does the characters, and does it in a way that is removed from reality just by a couple of clicks of fantasy and hyper-reality. That is something that Anderson is a master of, and it is simply a beautiful thing.

Also….Thanks to a certain “Coat Factory” who let us shoot this photo in their products in their store as we shopped… They didn’t really approve it, but we were able to find what we needed. Except for headbands. Don’t shop there for headbands in February.



The thing about this film when I saw it in the theater and found myself crying my eyes out at the end is that it reminds me of myself in a lot of ways (I have always felt like I am a combination of Margot mostly and Richie a little) in terms of things that I see as great things about me and things that I am perpetually working on… But most notably, I felt like it was a terrifying and depressing document of my own relationship with my father. In watching it, every single time I am heartbroken at the vast complexity of human relationships and how much they make absolutely no sense at all most of the time. Love is love, and nothing can be done about it. Mortality is mortality, and what are you going to do when it is your time? How can one constantly refresh one’s own expectations of oneself when one doesn’t tend to change?

But this film is so damn touching and funny and real… And in the face of it being so absolutely fictional, it is a testament to how well it was written that one can say it was incredibly real and reminded them so much of real life. It is hyperbole, and it is through this hyperbole that truer things cannot be said than the magnified version presented in this, one of my favorite movies of all time.

Also, the soundtrack melts me every time…. NICO, NICO AGAIN, ELLIOTT SMITH

Also, I am not sure why this video exists, but I think I love it.


Polo dress.  Black eyeliner.  Track suits.  Own Wilson… Luke Wilson… Ben Stiller… Gwyneth..This movie makes me incredibly nostalgic.  The characters are so real, and so familiar.  This movie is so satisfying visually, the soundtrack married exactly to the mood and tone and images.   People can be magical and terrible, and the things we hold onto from our childhood rarely meet or even match our expectations as adults.   Most of all,   love is perhaps the messiest, most unpredictable things of all.  The characters are all brilliant, glamorous, and so perfectly imperfect.  Somewhere there is a picture of me in a $30,000 fur coat ( a la Margot), and while my eyes aren’t dead enough in the photo, I always consider it my throwback to Tenenbaum photo.

I wish I knew where my Ralph Lauren Polo dress was, too.  But I do know where I can find matching Adidas tracksuits to dress my entire family….

One thought on “#1035 The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

  1. Pingback: First Year Anniversary! – Before We Die Films

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