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Eagle vs. Shark: Sweet, Nerdy Love

If Eagle vs. Shark doesn't take over Napoleon Dynamite's position at the top of the nerd-core film canon, it will be a shame. The movie, which will be released in select cities June 15, is a pitch-perfect, poignant and often hilarious look at love between two socially awkward misfits. I saw the film over the weekend at a sold-out screening at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and it truly was a movie where I both laughed and cried — often simultaneously.

The film, developed at the Sundance Institute by Oscar-nominated New Zealand writer-director Taika Waititi, focuses on Lily, a well-meaning but gawky oddball, and Jarrod, a lovable loser who doesn't know he's uncool. They connect at Jarrod's "come as your favorite animal" party, and she ends up tagging along on a trip to his hometown, where he plans to exact some ninja-style revenge on his high school nemesis. There, she meets his unsurprisingly dysfunctional family (swindling siblings, emotionally withdrawn father, child who could give Abigail Breslin's Little Miss Sunshine a run for her money) and tries to navigate her new relationship with a guy who thinks he's much more important than he is. To hear more about the film and watch the trailer,

Eagle vs. Shark isn't a movie that will overwhelm you with dialogue, but what's there is spot-on. When Jarrod leaves a phone message for his nemesis saying "justice is waiting" and the message-taker mishears "justice" as "Justin," well, that's just the kind of thing that would happen to Jarrod. And when Lily responds to Jarrod's "Do you want to kiss?" with a simple "yup," it somehow feels like the height of romance.

The soundtrack of fuzzy indie rock and adorable (if twee) animated interludes centering on a pair of rotten apples fit Eagle vs. Shark perfectly, but in the end, the movie belongs to Jarrod and Lily. Their occasionally frustrating but always big-hearted love story is something that anyone who's ever felt lonely and underappreciated will understand.

Photo courtesy of Miramax


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Join The Conversation
ispyemo ispyemo 8 years
i really want to see this. it looks good. quite funny just based on the trailer.
beanbagchair beanbagchair 8 years
Best movie I have seen in years. I could not have been happier with it. I saw at the San Francisco Film Festival, too! Were we in the same crowded screening? Don't fail to let the human factor be a factor at all. --Andrew Bird, "Tables and Chairs"
CestLaVie CestLaVie 8 years
This looks like one I'll have to catch!
swwonder swwonder 8 years
Looks good, I really will be camping out at my local cinema this summer.
xxbrittney xxbrittney 8 years
aww nice post buzz! this looks awesome! and it comes out the day after my birthday - what a sweet treat!
mallomar mallomar 8 years
Good to know you liked it. I saw the preview and wasnt sure but I think your review sealed the deal for me.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
Thanks for the heads up on this one, Buzz. It looks great.
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