I tend to enjoy most movies from Noah Baumbach and this was no exception, thanks to a wonderful script and SUPERB performances from Laura Linney, Jeff Daniels, Jesse Eisenberg, and Owen Kline, as well as solid support from William Baldwin, Anna Paquin, and Halley Feiffer. Some of the characters may be irritating, but they're irritating in such a narcissistic way that is always mesmerising.
I fail to see how this is supposed to be a comedy.. Some sort of saturated mess, not leaving any space for genuine emotion. The way it's written also weirds me out - some dialogues just don't make sense, answers have nothing to do with questions asked. the parents, BOTH of them, act like they don't have any warmth or affection for their kids AT ALL. It's staggeringly cold, rather unrealistic, not to mention unmoving.
A dramatic and delicate film exploring the subject of divorce in an upfront and brash manner amidst surreal family values. Daniels is absolutely fantastic as an ignorant arrogant father, oblivious to the manipulative teachings his sons are picking up on - in particular Eisenberg, who is called-out a few times and can't understand how to deal with it. An intelligent film with fantastic attention to family details.
After watching the similarly themed Meyerowitz, I gave Baumbach's feature debut a first watch since it came out. It holds up more than well, even accumulating greater depth with the work that has come after it. Daniels is but the first of frustrated father artists in Baumbach's films and Eisenberg and Klein are excellent as the siblings who choose sides in the divorce. Improbably funny too.
This film just makes me so angry. A credit-worthy Jeff Daniels plays the asshole father to a T here, but watching his and Eisenberg's characters expound their toxic, masculine bullshit made me want to smash the TV. For 80 minutes we're faced with this white-washed farce of unnecessary conflict and egotism, that panders and preaches on divorce in such a self-righteous fashion that it becomes mostly unbearable.