With the advent of Wes Anderson's latest entry into his compendium of eight—the movie Moonrise Kingdom, out in New York and Los Angeles Friday—there's enough of a catalog to ensure that there's one for each of us. So, what's your favorite Wes Anderson film? You would be amazed at what your preferences say about who you are, at least according to this entirely unscientific but completely authoritative exploration.
Bottle Rocket (1996)
You are a man of a certain age. You may have dated Jen. You enjoy pot smoking, boozing, and hanging out on your eclectically designed (velvet, round, sporadically cushioned) couch. You wouldn't call yourself a hipster, exactly, but you enjoy things that are not of the mainstream, things that you can presume to have discovered yourself and kept as your own special private secrets and used to impress the girls or boys (but probably mostly girls) you invite over to watch movies on your strange couch. Occasionally you are permeated with a sense of melancholy, but you shake it off, you shake it off, man. You love the Wilsons in equal measures. The buddy movie will forever hold you in its thrall. And why shouldn't it? (You will never grow up.) You're totally a dog guy. Cats, whoa, they freak you out. Unless you're stoned.
Once upon a time, you thought you'd be a music writer but you realized there's no money in that. Now you work in finance. You have a lot of cable channels so you get to watch this movie a lot, and you've realized when your borderline art-world friends come over to eat your salt-and-vinegar potato chips and play your video games and drink your single malt scotch that having this on breaks the ice; it's cultural ground you can both relate to. They intimidate you, slightly, these friends, with their poetry and butterfly collections and feelings about art, but you know what you like! You are a man of simple tastes, but you know what tastes good! Jason Schwartzman reminds you of the you you might have been if not for luck and height and the fact that your mom married your dad and not Jason Schwartzman's dad. You may have been a student once attracted to a teacher, or simply someone who understands that the rivers of love are deep and swift and wide and one could drown in them if one's not careful, if one doesn't prepare properly with swimming lessons and life rafts and whatnot. Favorite color: Blue.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
You are an old soul. Your family, while small, is in no small way dysfunctional, thank goodness, because the worst thing in the world, the worst, would be to have a boring family. Or an ugly one. You would never watch TV in the bathtub for fear of electrocution, but you would and have read many a book, regardless of the damaged pages that ensue, regardless of whether said book came from the library. But mostly you buy books; you like their smell, you smell them often. Your friends describe you as "loyal," "good-natured," and "quirky," with "pretty hair." One time at a ski lodge you tripped on a serving tray while playing Tetris and only just barely avoided stitches and had to get one of those butterfly bandages right on the side of your face, to hold the skin together while it healed. You went from "talented and gifted" to slightly less talented in the year between fourth and fifth grade. Sometimes you throw around the word "twee," and when drunk, you speak with the intercontinental accent of '60s-era movie stars. Astrological sign: Pisces. (This is Jen's favorite.)
You like bands that other people like, but you only like their really obscure stuff. When you describe a piece of art or something as "difficult," you mean it as a compliment. You probably have a graduate degree in something specific or you just work at a used book store. You want to move to Portland but you just haven't done it yet. Sometimes people call you an asshole and you respond, "All I'm saying is that it's important to understand what the term 'craft beer' actually means." If you're a straight guy (and you probably are) you have a girlfriend named Cara who is a research assistant and wants to move to France, but not Paris. When you have a kid (not with Cara), it will have, for a first name, the last name of a writer you like. (Maybe Wallace, because you love Infinite Jest.) One summer when you were a kid you spent a month with your cousins at their island house in Maine and something big happened that you never told anyone else. (This is Richard's favorite.)
The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
You read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance when you were like fourteen and pretended to understand it. You're really cheap and live in a crappy apartment way far out because it's only like 500 bucks a month. You are a perpetual student who is always broke and you are always eating hummus. You don't drink much and sometimes you ask your friends if they want to go for tea on a Friday night and they look at you weird and kind of annoyed. You absolutely do not own a TV, but you watched a few episodes of Downton Abbey on your old, breaking-down computer and declared it "OK." You're nice and always there for your friends to talk to but sometimes your friends feel like you're not really listening. You went to Vietnam one summer in college and you haven't stopped talking about it. One of the few things on the wall in your sparse apartment is a menu from a restaurant in Hanoi. Your friends look at it and think it's weird that there was ever a time you went to restaurants.
Hotel Chevalier (short, 2007)
You are a diehard Natalie Portman fan, to the exclusion of anything else. In whispers, people refer to you as pretentious, but you know that's because they're just jealous.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
You live in the confines of your own imagination, where animals with perfectly combed hair exist in a diorama-like world. As a kid, you believed animals could talk; you wish that could be the case, though it has not yet been proved in scientific circles. You do feel strongly that you are able to communicate with your cat, and you really don't need anyone else's commentary on that, nope, not in the slightest. You own at least one item with a bird on it, as well as an across-the-shoulder bag and Toms shoes. Occasionally you wear organic deodorant, but you're not quite sure it works, and yet, you're not quite sure you care. Sometimes in the middle of the night you wake up and go into the bathroom and just stare at yourself in the mirror under the florescent glow and you wonder if you have it deep inside you to do something really good, if push came to shove. As a kid, you loved puppet shows and Chuck-E-Cheese. As an adult, burlesques and drinking from flasks and sneaking into the next movie for free after you've seen the first.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012; in theaters Friday)
You are a movie critic and/or managed to get yourself in on a screening. You have connections! Yay, you. But for the civilians, if this ends up being your favorite Wes Anderson movie, you probably go on Etsy a lot and live in a cozy apartment in a quiet neighborhood. You tutor or nanny but not that much. The secret to your lifestyle is that you're from a wealthy family, that's why you're always able to take a couple nice trips each year -- to Paris, to Argentina, to Morocco once which you loved. You don't have any pets because they're messy but you love other people's pets. Sometimes you feel like you'd rather talk to dogs than people. You'll probably end up moving to the Berkshires someday and owning a lot of wind chimes. As a kid you spent a month on an island in Maine and you met a boy and you shared your first kisses and the boy made you promise to never tell, and you never did.
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