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It's funny that while this movie was really liked and praised at the time, there are more and more people now days who are dogpiling on it, in a negative way. I guess it makes this movie a case of you'll either love it or hate it. I for one absolutely loved it!

For me this is how a Wes Anderson movie should be like. Wes Anderson movies are independent ones with a very subtle and minimalistic/realistic approach to its comedy and feature all kinds of odd and just plain quirky characters in it. It's the same sort of style and approach that this movie uses, only difference is that in this movie it actually did work for me, as opposed to Wes Anderson his movies, which I more often just hate- than like to watch really. In that regard I also have some sympathy for those that did not like this movie at all. When it's not your type of movie, it simply isn't your type of movie. The comedy, the subtlety, the story, the situations, the characters, it all might be something that some people just aren't able to appreciate or like about this movie.

Key to me as to why I liked this movie, as opposed to Wes Anderson movies for instance, was the movie wasn't being pretentious at all about its style and wasn't showing, what I would like to call, any independent film consciousness. It was simply being a very honest and straightforward movie, about the simple little things and what makes things so beautiful or tough to live through at times.

This in itself of course would not had been good or interesting enough to create an entire movie around but luckily the movie managed to throw in plenty of subtle and somewhat dark humor, as well as a whole bunch of very well written characters. Everybody in this movie has so much depth and all of the main characters are some real likable ones. They have great, though also very exaggerated, personalities that keep the movie going at all times and is also what makes the movie such a rich filled, warm and likable one.

For what its worth, this really was a movie that made me feel happy, though the story in itself is not a very happy one. It was more the way the character's dealt with all of their issues or crazy problems they ran into that made this movie a very heartfelt one. It's a real family movie, not in the terms of that this is a movie you can watch with your whole family, but more that this is a movie that is all about the family bond and unconditional love for each other.

The movie was obviously very dependent on its characters, in order to let the overall story and style and approach of the movie to work out. And it's not just thanks to the writing or the directing approach that they indeed all work out but also really due to its casting and cast. I'm not exaggerating when I'm saying that everybody got perfectly cast in this movie. Even actors who I'm normally not very impressed with, such as Greg Kinnear, simply did an amazing job. I was also really surprised by Steve Carell, who didn't played a goofy comedy role for a change but a far more subtle one and he was absolutely great at it. It makes you wish that he would do more movies and movie roles like this and stop wasting his talent on lame comedies. But like I said, every actor in this movie deserves lots of praise and it also would eventually be Abigail Breslin and Alan Arkin who would be nominated for an Oscar as well. Alan Arkin was the only one that eventually also won. There was an Oscar as well for its script, which I'm also really happy about and think this is something this movie truly deserved.

The only regret I have was that I didn't watch this movie any sooner.

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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