Director: Wes Anderson
Year Released: 2007
Three rich, white brothers (Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson) - decked out in Louis Vuitton - behave like Ugly Americans on a "spiritual trip" to India to presumably bond and also get into contact with their absentee mother (Anjelica Huston), who's become something of a missionary. Anderson's quirkiness is apparent as always, but the actual path to "mental liberation" - represented at the odious, unsatisfying conclusion by the literal jettisoning of luggage owned by the brothers' late father - is excessively literal, as is the presumption that we're to believe this 'road trip' actually has an effect on the guys. The side cast of non-whites get minimal attention: the only female Indian character (who is referred to by the refreshment she serves on the train) gets screwed in a bathroom, the Indian train boss is hostile to the main characters and kicks them off the train (keeping their snake!) and the only death in the movie is that of an Indian boy. Anderson probably intends for us to find the trio to be loveable buffoons, but the allure of seeing Privileged People with Problems "slum it" for pathos is a minimal one (and if he's mocking Hollywood's vapid quest for Spirituality, he probably needs to redefine the satire a bit differently).