Bottle Rocket (1996)

Raise your hand if you can watch The Royal Tenenbaums over and over. OK, put your hand down.

Wes Anderson's first film, a collaboration with Owen Wilson (a gifted screenwriter too), is this Bottle Rocket. It is a tale of one young man's aspiration to achieve his goal of being a criminal and his two buddies who out of sympathy with him accompany him on his unsuccessful thieving antics.

This follows many of the themes that I discussed in Fight Club: the emasculation of man, the search for meaning and identity. This is a fun look at three twenty-somethings who are acting like they are on summer vacation between grade 6 and 7.

Some great one-liners from this movie never made it into the mainstream: "This afternoon when we were having sex, it was so... fun" and "I paid for the gun" and "I'm a risk taker. I'm growing an entire crop of marijuana plants in my parents back yard." Man, it's too bad these gems never caught on.

The film is quirky (like Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, A Life Aquatic) and filled with great British 70's rock - which does seem a little out of place in southern California, but fun all the same. The film lacks a bit of maturity and is a little slow in the middle (like the others Anderson has made), but it keeps you tapped into the protagonists needs to grow up. I actually like the way the film is made as though a group of friends got together and made it over 6 weeks, which might actually be how they made it.


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