Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1996. Columbia Pictures, Gracie Films. Screenplay by Owen Wilson, Wes Anderson. Cinematography by Robert D. Yeoman. Produced by Cynthia Hargrave, Polly Platt. Music by Mark Mothersbaugh. Production Design by David Wasco. Costume Design by Karen Patch. Film Editing by David Moritz.
Relentlessly funny exercise in madcap brilliance that announced the arrival of director Wes Anderson and stars Luke and Owen Wilson, all of whom have made good on their promise since this winning debut. Anthony (Luke) checks himself out of a voluntary mental hospital after suffering a nervous collapse and is reunited with best pal Dignan (Owen). Dignan’s plan is to get them into a life of armed robbery, beginning with a fake looting of Anthony’s house for practice and followed by the holding up of a bookstore in the hopes of impressing a big-time operator (James Caan) into letting them join his crew. Unfortunately, these guys don’t know the meaning of smooth planning, and the bungled up jobs they pull are more brilliant for their errors than for their successes. Along the way, Anthony falls in love with a beautiful motel housekeeper (Like Water For Chocolate‘s Lumi Cavazos) and is distracted from his life of crime by the sparks that are ignited between them. Sweet, quirky and deliriously comic.