Went and saw The Squid and The Whale yesterday, and I hated, hated, hated this movie (to paraphrase from Ebert's review of "North", which is worth a read on its own for tips on how to give something a thumb's down.)
It's about two kids about 15 and 12, whose parents go through a messy seperation. There isn't a single sympathetic character, with Jeff Daniels potrayal of a pretentious, self-centered professor/failed writer being particularly loathsome. Laura Linney doesn't suck, I suppose. Anna Paquin plays a jail-bait student, but if that's what you want from a movie, rent 25th Hour, which is far, far superior.
But that's just me, maybe it hit a little close to home on certain points. I also don't really dig the wide-eyed nihlism of Wes or P.T. Anderson's films, and this piece was of that genre.
Your mileage may vary, but if you thought Happiness was too much, do not see this film.
As a final note, the film purports to be based on the director's experiences growing up. Which explains why it's so jaded I suppose.
Update: To be clear, it's not the worst movie I've ever seen, that would probably be Sam Alito's favorite, Judge Dredd, ("I am the law!"). But I really can't remember a movie I liked less. I can't emphasise this enough.
Pooh's View: Not worth the NetFlix postage.