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05 March 2014

Wes Anderson Movies....Can You Be Cool and Still Dislike Them? I've come to a funny fork in the road, culture-wise. I decided after watching Moonrise Kingdom that I'm having trouble justifying my continued appreciation of Wes Anderson movies. [More:]

I enjoy them, but always feel enormously let down by the dollhouse/OCD/everything-at-a remove feel to them. As if Whimsy and Set Design were all you need to tell stories with.

I want to hear from people who don't follow the fandom about why they feel put off by Wes Anderson. I say this still as a fan, and I always will go see his movies. But lately I feel like so much is missing from them that it's like the cinematic equivalent of moving through an IKEA display.
Have you read this old article about Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson? I know I've linked to it a few times over the years at various places.

Anyway, I really liked his first three movies but lost interest after Zissou. And I certainly haven't felt any less cool because of it. Has he even been "cool" since Royal Tenenbaums? He's worked with Noah Baumbach a couple times now, and Baumbach is cool, but I don't know if it that helps Anderson.
posted by mullacc 05 March | 19:41
Moonrise Kingdom is the only Wes Anderson movie that I have liked. Hated most of them and was meh on the rest. But love Moonrise Kingdom.
posted by danf 05 March | 23:40
I liked the animated fox movie but disliked to hated the others. Pretty picaresques with no recognizable human beings at all.
posted by arse_hat 06 March | 00:57
And of course the Fox movie was from another writer.
posted by arse_hat 06 March | 01:07
I was rather annoyed that the only role he could think to cast Lumi Cavazos ( Tita in the adaptation of Like Water for Chocolate) in Bottle Rocket was as (possibly illegally in the US)fleabag motel housekeeper.
posted by brujita 06 March | 03:38
I'm convinced no one actually likes Wes Anderson movies except to seem cool to other people who pretend to like Wes Anderson movies.
posted by Eideteker 06 March | 07:21
I very much liked Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. The rest... I'm like you. I'll watch his films, but I'm not so excited about them.

That said, his latest looks decent? Maybe I'm blinded by the Tilda.

(interesting article, mullacc.)
posted by gaspode 06 March | 09:01
Wes Anderson is like a Egg McMuffin on a motorboat. He keep it down and you can go easy on the fishing.
posted by Hugh Janus 06 March | 09:14
Precisely what Huge Anus said - Wes Anderson is like attracting beetles with waffle fries. He keeps them slow and you can go easy on the swimming.
posted by msali 06 March | 09:46
Ha msali.

I'm having trouble justifying my continued appreciation of Wes Anderson movies
I could say that liking something doesn't need justification.
But that would be to deny that we're all social animals. And that for those of use who grew up with a Kulturauftrag there's a certain noblesse oblige about which cultural artifacts to enjoy.
"I'm the kind of person who enjoys Wes Anderson movies"
"I'm the kind of person who's a fan of David Foster Wallace novels"
"I'm the kind of person who's into authentic punk rock" etc

I guess I don't what the proper justification of Wes Anderson movies should be. It probably depends on the people you surround yourself with. And on fashion.
But I do think that whimsy is an art register that quickly reaches the end of its tether.

I used to be very into the Kulturauftrag. Reading Goethe in Frakturschrift and all. Taking pride in reading challenging novels.
At some point that lost its gratification to me. Novels mostly strike me nowadays as the writings of random assholes and their challenges as a waste of time. So novels are now just a form of entertainment that competes with all the other forms of entertainment.

The strange thing is that I still miss being focused on literature. It's such a well defined identity. And to be honest I often really enjoyed novels. But that enjoyment was driven by art lending meaning to small goings on through its framing. As I missed that meaning in general life.
I no longer feel that meaningless so strongly in everyday life. And consequently the role of art has dimished for me.

I'm intrigued by the middle european vibe of his new movie. But I'm afraid I won't be able to stomach Jason Schwartzman in a European setting.
posted by jouke 06 March | 10:47
What danf said. I have never liked Wes Anderson movies, but thought Moonrise Kingdom was rather nice.
posted by bearwife 06 March | 11:54
I liked the Royal Tenenbaums a lot when it came out and I saw it (so, in my solipsistic youth) however on re-watching it with my husband recently it left me with kind of a bad taste in my mouth. It was very unrelatable and hadn't aged well.

I don't know much for Wes Anderson beyond that, but tbh I'm the sort that unironically enjoys Thor movies and loud shallow space operas, so take that for what it's worth.
posted by lonefrontranger 06 March | 12:10
Between trying to be cool and needing to justify liking things:
not cool

How about appreciating things for what they are.
posted by ethylene 06 March | 12:18
Ya heard.
posted by Hugh Janus 06 March | 13:38
What Eideteker said.

I tried Life Aquatic and whatever the one after that was & pretty much hated them enough to never try another.
posted by chewatadistance 06 March | 18:42
I really liked Moonrise Kingdom but was annoyed by both Bottle Rocket and Royal Tenenbaums. Haven't seen any other but the new one looks fun and it's hard to argue with the cast.
posted by octothorpe 06 March | 22:30
The critics of the Guardian are very enthousiastic about Grand Budapest Hotel (video) even though having 'fallen out of like' with Wes Anderson movies over Darjeeling Limited f.i.
posted by jouke 07 March | 09:33
generational nostalgia and anti-trends || True wot?