Review Date: August 31, 2002
Director: Burr Steers
Writer: Burr Steers
Producers: Marco Weber, Lisa Tornell
Kieran Culkin as Igby Slocumb
Susan Sarandon as Mimi Slocumb
Ryan Phillippe as Oliver Slocumb
And if all that wasn't enough, the film kickstarts the festivities off with various "quirky" characters, but ultimately develops them into three-dimensional human beings who you learn to appreciate and emphasize with by the end. Yes, the film is specifically about Igby's journey from teen to responsible "adult", but along the way, we are also given peeks inside the lives of an assortment of engaging characters and most of them pack a wallop as well. Susan Sarandon has a lot of fun with her character, but also doesn't exaggerate her to the point of being just "one big joke". There's a deeper hurt there. Jeff Goldblum is a blast to watch as the super-rich guy who handles all of his problems with a flick of the wrist and a hundred little Benjamins. Ryan Phillippe also starts off a little CRUEL INTENTIONS-ish, but ultimately gives us a lot more than just a pretty little face. Amanda Peet is gorgeous as usual, but like most of the other characters in the movie, provides for lots of spunk and ultimately, resonance. The film also features a bunch of "secondary characters" all of whom bring additional juice to the piece, specifically Jared Harris, who plays the ideal NY performance artist ("Do you paint?"-great exchange) and Bill Pullman, who has a very small role, but gives us plenty to mull over. We knew you could do it, Billy! Very reminiscent of Wes Anderson's superb dialogue, well-developed characters and peppy soundtracks, this flick felt a little ROYAL TENENBAUM-ish, but dare I say...with more depth? I loved this film through and through and I hope that a lot of people get to see it and its wonderful performances, especially Culkin's. If you're looking for a movie that cannot be categorized into any one group but successfully transitions itself between very funny moments and very tender...this baby is for you!
PS: Interesting note is that first-time director Burr Steers is also an actor who played the character of "Roger" in Quentin Tarantino's PULP FICTION.