Beautiful, but forgettable
The plot is simple; two pre-pubescent children run away from home and Scout camp respectively, while their family and friends search for them.
The children's antics mirror the freedom that the adults yearn for (particularly Frances McDormand, who is dedicated to a loveless marriage). Edward Norton's washed up Scout Leader was great. His zeal for his scout master role illustrates how so many adults strive to retain or relive their youth.
Suzy, moody and heavily eyelined, is reminiscent of a foxier young Margot Tenenbaum. Her romance with Sam is counterintuitive. They are too young to be in love or lust, but seek solace and comfort in their mutual unhappiness and dramatic natures.
Some critics have complained that this film is an incomplete view of the world. I personally enjoy this characteristic of Anderson's films. I was almost always aware that I was watching a movie, but not in a negative way. It was like admiring a great piece of art. This movie is evocative but unrealistic vision of young love.
The plot is ridiculous, but what else do you expect from a Wes Anderson film. The cinematography (Robert Yeoman) and score (Alexandre Desplat) enveloped me. I wanted to be a part of that small New England town, while being keenly aware that I am not, nor ever can be, in that world. The screenplay, written by Anderson and Roman Coppola, was sufficiently quirky, but the ending faltered in an overly dramatic fashion.
Ultimately, I judge a movie by how long it stays with me. Will I be thinking about this movie for days after seeing it? Unfortunately not. This movie is a joyous romp through the stylised, romantic childhood of our dreams. But like childhood, the details are easily forgotten.