A deadbeat dad who lost touch with his extended family after separating with their mother tries to insinuate himself back into their lives after informing them that he is dying.
The Royal Tenenbaums is typical of Wes Anderson’s brand of offbeat character ensemble and shares all of his usual strengths and weaknesses. The array of characters are likeable enough thanks to a talented cast but despite this – like The Life Aquatic – it is very much a one man show. Gene Hackman is great fun as the amusingly selfish and tactless absentee father and whenever he is on screen, the film is very watchable; but that doesn’t stop its own self-conscious and rather forced kookiness from making the story seem rather contrived and ultimately pointless.
There are some amusing moments but little of any real weight or substance and it you are not a Wes Anderson fan, this will do little to change your mind.