Writer-director Spike Jonze, along with co-writer Dave Eggers, has turned beloved children’s book Where the Wild Things Are into a beautifully shot treatise on adolescent mood disorders. At least that’s what it feels like. Many will say the adaptation, about nine-year-old protag Max’s imagined journey to a land populated by mostly-friendly monsters, perfectly captures what childhood feels like, but most children don’t fantasize about hanging out with “wild things” as obviously dysfunctional as their own lives. Sure, such realizations might organically evolve out of their fantasies, but the point of fantasies, remember, is escapism. Max’s fantasies are instead predicated on misery, and the experience of watching Jonze’s sometimes-magical movie might leave you depressed by the notion your childhood was this bad. Definitely not for kids (101 min.).
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