Igby Goes Down

Review: A-

I was excit­ed last week when I walked into my neigh­bor­hood cof­fee­house, and saw a stack of free movie pass­es on the counter. As it turns out, the free movie this time around was one I was look­ing for­ward to watch­ing… Igby Goes Down.

I real­ly liked this movie– it’s bru­tal­ly fun­ny, despite the drugs, sex, and a jeff gold­blum crotch shot (with his box­ers on, mind you).

When we were in New York City last, around the 4th of July, when it was 100 degrees, we all went to the Sun­shine Cin­e­ma to see the Dan­ger­ous Lives of Altar Boys, an amus­ing film that stars Jodie Fos­ter as a nun, and involves com­ing-of-age hijinks. My point is, that I was pleas­ant­ly suprised at Kier­an Culkin’s per­for­mance.

And he’s only bet­ter here– this time as a Salinger-type reject, raised in a dys­func­tion­al (yet welathy) fam­i­ly, wiith an ice-queen of a moth­er in Susan Saran­don, an eccen­tric Jeff Gold­blum as his God­fa­ther, and Claire Danes as a fuck bud­dy.

The film mean­ders between flash­backs and the present, fol­low­ing Culkin’s rich-boy char­ac­ter as he gets kicked out of schools, drops out, and heads for New York. His life there is one of pover­ty, drugs, and, he achieves, even­tu­al­ly, some kind of truth.

I have to say that it is a nice com­pan­ion to the Jenifer Anis­ton movie, The Good Girl, and it’s unde­ni­able to say that Hold­en Cau­field is still alive and kick­ing in 2002. Both are great films.

Here’s a ques­tion though– what’s with all this fas­ci­na­tion with rich, dys­func­tion­al fam­i­lies?? Should we blame Wes Ander­son?

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