Once upon a time my friends convinced me to watch The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, saying that it was hilarious. It wasn't hilarious. To be honest, I don't know what it was because it was so boring that I stopped paying attention and remember nothing about it, except that it was one of the rare times I've actually regretting wasting my life watching a movie. (The other would be Clerks. Thanks so much for making us watch that gem, Addie.)
I have this need to see movies that everyone else has seen, because it makes me feel left out when people are constantly referencing things I don't know. So, Anderson's Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums made it to my list of movies to see.
Since that time, I've had a hate-on for filmmaker Wes Anderson. I decided to give him another try after seeing the trailer for The Darjeeling Limited. I didn't hate the movie, but it was on the border of that "I could have done without this" feeling.
Rushmore was another strange, not-sure-if-I-like-this kind of movie. But after watching The Royal Tenenbaums, I understand people's love of it. It has the same odd characters and almost non-plot plot lines as his other films, but something about these characters really pulls you into their strange world. They're all angry and miserable and there's a brother-sister love-thing going on that somehow does not disgust you like incestuous feelings should.
And so, Wes Anderson, was redeemed in my eyes.
Now, I can't leave out Anderson's most recent, and (I think) most loved, film, Fantastic Mr. Fox. It's very different from Anderson's previous films, and not just because it's stop-motion animation. The biggest difference would be that it's based on the Roald Dahl book, not written by Anderson himself. It had that charming strangeness of a Wes Anderson movie, but mixed with a loveable children's book.
So, even though I will never get those two hours of my life back that I wasted on The Life Aquatic, Wes Anderson, I won't hold it against you. The time spent enjoying your other films has made up for that time. And, I look forward to your next film.
(P.S. Kevin Smith fans who were appalled by my hatred of Clerks- I could write the same article for Kevin Smith. I despised Clerks with every fiber of my movie-loving being, but I absolutely loved Dogma, Chasing Amy wasn't so bad, I even watched Jersey Girl and Red State is on my to-watch list.)