There’s no doubt that Wes Anderson is good at what he does. If you want a whimsical, storybookish piece of filmmaking, there’s nobody better in the world. I always feel as if I can reach out, pluck a film of his out of my TV screen, and prop it up next to pictures of long lost cousins in my grandmother’s house. There’s something undeniably cutesy about his films, and the strangest thing about them is that I enjoy them.
I spend the bulk of my movie-watching time suffering through crushing exhibitions of human misery. It’s not because I want to feel miserable; it’s just that those films tend to be the most emotionally impactful and worthwhile. On the other hand, I could just be enduring a years-long bout of belated teenage angst that demands a steady stream of Aronofskyan media. For the sake of my pride I’ll stick with the former explanation. But despite the immense value I see in challenging stories, there’s only so much I can handle. It’s important that I get a reprieve every now and then. When people eat loads of spicy food they built up a massive tolerance to heat. After extended periods of gustatory punishment they’re able to conquer foods of titanic Scoville levels, foods that would bring any mere mortal to his knees. However, their tolerance also means that they hardly notice foods of moderate spice that the common man would feel intimately.
That’s what I fear when I watch long strings of depressing films. I don’t want to be the guy that needs inhumanly spicy foods to feel anything. I need breaks between the eldritch abominations that I love so dearly or I won’t be able to appreciate them at all. This is what Anderson provides. His movies are cutesy, yes, but they’re also emotionally impactful, easy to watch, and fun. They’re well-crafted examples of modern filmmaking that help ensure I don’t become jaded. I enjoy Wes Anderson’s films because they’re such a far cry from the films I love.