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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 There, she meets his unsurprisingly dysfunctional family (swindling siblings, emotionally withdrawn father, child who could give Abigail Breslin's Little Miss Sunshine a run for her money) and tries to navigate her new relationship with a guy who thinks he's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

ispyemo ispyemo 10 years
i really want to see this. it looks good. quite funny just based on the trailer.
beanbagchair beanbagchair 10 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 10 years
This looks like one I'll have to catch!
swwonder swwonder 10 years
Looks good, I really will be camping out at my local cinema this summer.
xxbrittney xxbrittney 10 years
aww nice post buzz! this looks awesome! and it comes out the day after my birthday - what a sweet treat!
mallomar mallomar 10 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 10 years
Thanks for the heads up on this one, Buzz. It looks great.
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