Royal's Screwups

Anderson's film is like its characters: flawed genius

As in Rushmore, Anderson loads his soundtrack with choice nuggets by Nick Drake, the Rolling Stones, Nico, and two selections from the Charlie Brown Christmasspecial 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 Tenenbaumspossesses 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 Yorkershort story -- easy to pick up, easy to put down.

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