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Customer Review

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, ultimately very moving, July 15, 2002
This review is from: The Royal Tenenbaums (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
This movie does something very rare. Throughout the first act, and into the second, it comes across as somewhat detached and disaffected. I was intrigued by the characters and the lives they lead, but felt like an outsider to their world. By the end of the film, I was moved to tears and felt that I really understood these people. How this was accomplished in 110 minutes, I can't say for sure. But I've revisited the film several times as a result.
Simply put, this film is so rich in detail it truly rewards repeat viewings. While not always "laugh out loud funny," it never loses its sense of humor. Often absurdist humor, which is one of the things I love about it.
Music plays an important role in this movie, as it seems Wes Anderson has a knack for matching the right song for any given scene. I never thought I'd hear the Velvet Underground's "Stephanie Says" used so perfectly (actually, I never expected to hear it in a movie at all). Anderson is right up there with directors like Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee in the ability to complement and enhance a scene with a song.
I don't want to get into a laundry list of all the great things about this film; that has been sufficiently covered by many other reviewers. This is a film where all the elements came together just right and lightning struck.
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