Igby Goes Down

Insanity is relative

Igby is funny. Very funny. And I'm being very serious about saying that. Because being hip and trendily sardonic is a serious business.

Igby just about has it all: riches, more second chances than Michael Jackson, a neurotic mother, a bored older brother and a father in a home for the loaded and confused, where the fashion is for back-fastening jackets with wrap-around sleeves. Igby's biggest fear is that he will end up there, too- either that or end up normal, very normal- forgetably so. So in the last summer before he absolutely has to finally attend University and buckle down to Life, Igby bunks off and hides out up in the bohemian flat of an artists' model. Coincidentally she is the girlfriend of his married godfather (played with slimy charm by Jeff Goldblum). Falling in love with his brother's girlfriend, Igby undergoes a tumultuous summer falling in and out of love, in and out of money and in and out of bed.

Despite being a darkly funny black comedy, this is also a touching and in places very moving account of one young man's desperate attempt to make his mark- any mark- in a world of eccentrics and selfish desires. Kieran Culkin proves that acting talent really does run in his family, not just boyish good looks, and turns in an assured and bravado performance in the title role. Susan Sarandon is superbly cast as his hysterical mother, and between them the age-old love-hate mother-son relationship is brought into sharp relief with devastating results.

This is a finely- tuned film that throws into sharp, sometimes excruciating, relief the pathetic side of empty human relationships. Seasoned with the gauche ennui of the rich, it manages to find and, even more triumphantly, celebrate the macabre humour in everyday life.

Highly recommended.

Rotten Tomatoes Score:



Comedy, Drama


Burr Steers


Burr Steers


Kieran Culkin, Claire Danes, Jeff Goldblum, Jared Harris, Amanda Peet


98 minutes








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