Friday, July 1, 2011

Film Review: ‘Wild Things’ lacks warmth, whimsy

October 16, 2009 by Staff Reporter  
Filed under Sports & Entertainment

The author of “Where the Wild Things Are” picked Spike Jonze (“Being John Malkovich”) to direct the long-planned film of the much-loved children’s book. But whatever Maurice Sendak thought the quixotic Jonze would bring to the movie — a penetrating understanding of the thin, allegorical picture book, perhaps — what Jonze delivers, with a script by Dave Eggers, is not a children’s movie at all. This dull, downbeat, yet faithful adaptation has become a “Sesame Street of the Spotless Mind.”

Max Records plays Max, a kid who should be beyond donning his old whiskered wolf suit and terrorizing his mom (Catherine Keener). In a wintry opening built around an ends-in-tears snowball fight with his sister’s teenage friends, Max comes off as an impulsive, hyper and self-centered brat. But he’s sensitive enough to escape to his plush-toy filled room, and to oblige with a fanciful tale when his hard-pressed single mom sighs, “I could use a story.”

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