Meet the Parents

Review A-

'The Squid and the Whale' is an adolescent's bitter and funny view of his folks' divorce.


Anyone who's spent too many hours in his or her own brain is apt to have an excruciating yet excellent time at The Squid and the Whale. Writer-director Noah Baumbach plies the autobiographical fiction-maker's art of making the intimate universal in this rendering of his parents' breakup, set in Brooklyn in 1986.

Bitterly funny about divorce, it's even sharper and more original about intellectuals and their discontent. Like a Woody Allen freed of pretension and merciless about his own prejudices and neuroses, Baumbach has an unerring ear for affectation. He also has a natural tragicomic touch. Baumbach makes you care about his characters' fouled-up feelings.

The Squid and the Whale (IDP) Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline, Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney. Directed by Noah Baumbach. Rated R. Time 80 minutes.

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