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Royal Tennenbaums good viewing choice
by Jaclynn Fasken, business manager

The Royal Tennenbaums, a film directed Wes Anderson, is a dark, tragic comedy about a textbook dysfunctional family of geniuses and their “unexpected reunion one recent winter.”

A brilliantly clever script and an all-star cast make it a must see.

The movie, based on the Oscar-nominated screenplay written by Anderson and Owen Wilson, is packed with extraordinary actors.

Royal Tennenbaum, the father of the family is played by Gene Hackman who won a golden globe for the role and received an Oscar nomination. Royal, a litigation lawyer disbarred and jailed briefly in the ‘80s has been separated from his wife Ethiline, played by Angelica Houston for twenty years. Hearing she wants to marry her accountant, played by Danny Glover, he shows up on the doorstep claiming a serious illness and wanting to reestablish a relationship with the family he has not talked to in years and suddenly fears losing. Their three children, all geniuses, also show-all for different reasons. All are fallen from greatness and blame their father for their problems. The movie depicts the family rebounding, dealing with their problems and moving on hilariously.

Chas, the oldest of the three children, played by Ben Stiller, moved home after deeming his own house unsafe for himself and his two boys. Chas is a business genius, started his own company out of his room as a young boy by breeding and selling Dalmatian mice. Stiller is a brilliant actor and has a chance to shine here as a comedic and dramatic actor.

Margot Tennenbaum, a literary genius, played by the Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow finds herself back at home after a failing marriage to Raleigh St. Clair, played by Bill Murray. Margot, adopted by the Tennenbaums, won a $50,000 playwriting grant at the age of 14 and has not written a single play in seven years. Margot is a complex character who is very secretive and hides behind a faux fur coat and an unemotional face.

Luke Wilson plays the youngest child, Ritchie, a champion tennis star since the third grade. After choking at the U.S. Open, he still wears his Fila tennis shirt, wrist and headbands-he traveled around the world on an ocean liner. Gentle, soft-spoken Ritchie is the mediator of the family, the only one who sympathizes with his father.

Owen Wilson is a neighbor to the Tennenbaums, who grew up with the three children. He is an author in the city but writing about the Wild West. His daily attire is a cowboy outfit complete with a cowboy hat. Since an early age, he wanted desperately to be a Tennenbaum. Addicted to drugs, he used to have an affair with Margot Tennenbaum.

This film is a wonderful story about how success does not necessarily bring happiness. It can be watched more than once and you will pick up something you did not see the first time. The dark humor leaves you chuckling, and each member of the cast gives a very convincing performance.
Next time you browse around Blockbuster, check out The Royal Tennenbaums and treat yourself to a good movie.




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