Royal's Screwups

Anderson's film is like its characters: flawed genius

The Tenenbaums relive their Royal growing pains
The Tenenbaums relive their Royal growing pains


Rated R

As in Rushmore, Anderson loads his soundtrack with choice nuggets by Nick Drake, the Rolling Stones, Nico, and two selections from the Charlie Brown Christmas special that he's wanted to use since Bottle Rocket. Sadly, the soundtrack this time around feels too pat, easy shorthand intended to fill in the copious blanks. And you do want to cheer the film's ambitions, because The Royal Tenenbaums possesses its moments of sheer delight and surprise -- Owen Wilson's performance, for instance, or the flashback to Margot's discovery of her real parents in Indiana. But as a movie, it's little more than a remarkable New Yorker short story -- easy to pick up, easy to put down.

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