On the first day of my freshman year college writing class, the professor asked everyone what their favorite love story was. At a loss, I said the first thing that came to mind: The Royal Tenenbaums. I see how that could be seen as a strange choice, considering that the love story in question is between brother and (adopted) sister Richie and Margot Tenenbaum. But there’s something adorably lonely about the two of them sitting in a tent set up in their parents’ living room listening to old records.
The movie, directed by Wes Anderson, is visually gorgeous. Plus, who can forget Gwyneth Paltrow as Margot in smudged eyeliner and that wonderful Fendi fur coat? Owen Wilson and Bill Murray manage to be both hilarious and pitiable as side characters, and the scene when Richie (Owen’s brother Luke Wilson) finally shaves is gut-wrenching. Also, Gene Hackman is possibly the most versatile and generally amazing actor ever, and he is fantastic as the family patriarch Royal.
In the end, The Royal Tenenbaums is no Titanic, but grand sweeping romances of that aren’t really my cup of tea. I’ll stick with Richie and Margot.