(My expanded review now available at Seattle Screen Scene. Below is an excerpt.)
A good deal of my enjoyment of this one must have been reactionary. I found The Wolfpack so thoroughly depressing (and not for the reasons I think the filmmaker wanted) that going directly afterwards into a screening of this - a cliché-ridden load of indie quirk that did almost nothing surprising - was somehow just the ticket.
I ought to have been annoyed by the cute title cards; the ridiculous portrayal of a hipster tattooed high school history professor (who somehow has his own office and sports a Persian carpet in his classroom?) and of a tenured sociology professor father (who, because tenured never has to work?); the manic pixie dream dying girl who lives, er, dies, to serve the protagonist's emotional development; the bordering on racist depictions of black characters (because Earl, his brother, and the limo driver are funny, it's ok, I guess?); the look-at-me-I-know-all-these-films film references; and on it goes.
I dunno, maybe it was The Wolfpack; maybe I was just so barraged with cute quirk that I caved; or maybe there is some cheap satisfaction I find in knowing and being able to laugh at those movie references and I'm shallow. Whatever it was, I admit it. I had fun.
Also, "Eyes Wide Butt." That's pretty funny.