Okay, the humour in The Squid and the Whale comes from the darkest of places. Still, this movie had me laughing out loud through most of the film.
And I guess thatís the point. What is funny? Often the truest humour in our lives comes from pain. The Squid and the Whale takes full advantage of that.
The Squid and the Whale is the tale of two brothers whose parents are in the process of separating. Sure, it doesnít sound like a funny movie, but wait. Both of them adjust by adapting very poorly to their new found situations, one through maladaptive relationships and the other through behaviour that can only be described as disturbed. Still not laughing? Does it help to point out that both parents are self-obsessed, damaged individuals themselves? Now thatís funny.
Laura Linney and (especially) Jeff Daniels are in top form as the parents but itís their two sons who are the real centre of the picture. Their story is one that is unfortunately all too familiar. Laughing is really all we have.
I liked that the film didnít cop out with some ending that would try to solve everything. Still, the ending isnít all bleak. Itís about overcoming. Also, as long as we can laugh at ourselves we can survive. Sometimes itís all so ridiculous that we canít help but break out into giggles.