Eagle vs. Shark
The principal creators of Eagle Vs. Shark are so alarmingly bereft of artistic vision that they are almost certainly unaware that their project is not a sweet love story about two childlike losers, but rather an elaborate tomb for dead-or-dying '00s hipsterisms. There's not a single original joke in the entire movie; it's just a nonstop buffet of clams derived from the likes of Todd Solondz movies, Vice magazine, and lame post-Curb Your Enthusiasm humiliation comedy. Essentially, the film comes across like Napoleon Dynamite if it were written and directed by Miranda July, and though that may sound promising to some readers, I assure you that it does not work, mainly because its misanthropic bully humor is at odds with its attempts at twee sentimentality.
Aside from a marginally endearing female lead played by Loren Horsley, Eagle Vs. Shark forgoes characters in favor of filling out its cast with an assortment of "quirky" one-note weirdos and drab "dysfunctional family" ciphers. Its male lead, played by Jemaine Clement of the miserably unfunny and similarly unoriginal HBO series Flight of the Conchords, is especially aggravating. His character is relentlessly cruel, clueless, obnoxious, and pathetic -- he's basically a poor mash-up of Dwight Schrute and Napoleon Dynamite -- and yet the audience is encouraged to sympathize with Horsley's inexplicable attraction to him despite the fact that the film does not allow the character a single sympathetic moment. Eagle Vs. Shark convinces itself that it's about two unlikely people finding love in spite of their considerable flaws, but in reality, it's the story of a deeply insecure woman who is abused by the object of her affections and never has the self-respect to walk away from her attachment to a violent, insensitive manchild. The filmmakers attempt to make a point of the characters' inability to progress beyond their childhoods despite being in their late 20s, but instead, the picture plays more like a celebration of infantilization.