Pin It

How to know if you’re stuck in a Wes Anderson movie

You've no idea what time period you're in, but everything around you is symmetrical and written in Futura font

You’ve entered what appears to be an elaborate shoebox theatre in which everything looks so deliciously edible you consider licking the candy-coloured walls.

You’re inside a strangely symmetrical world. It’s like someone stuck a mirror in the dead center of your vision, everything perfectly reflected on either side.

Everyday events unfold in front of you like pages in a storybook. You even hear a narrator’s voice telling the story of your dysfunctional relationships, chapter by chapter.

Everywhere you look you see the Futura font. It’s in airports and hospitals and on the side of school buses. So. Much. Futura.

Everyone you talk to is extremely articulate and well-read. They’re whip-smart, civilized, and incapable of uttering words like “umm”, “like”, or “kinda”.

These same people appear to be incapable of laughing. They talk in a deadpan voice that sometimes makes you think of the pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, if the pod people were 100 times more bookish.

You often think you’re in Britain, as you hear British bands like The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and The Who everywhere you go. When this music swells, everything slows right down. Especially when you hear Cat Stevens.

You can’t escape the nasal surfer drawl of Owen Wilson.

Everywhere you go you spot people in matching outfits, from bright red beanies to adidas jumpsuits.

Sometimes, without warning, your vision is violently jolted to one side, as though someone pressed the button on a retro View-Master, flicking from one picture to the next.

You’re not exactly sure what year it is. You look for clues: old bicycles, hand-written letters, a marked lack of smartphones. You still don’t have any idea.

You have a dysfunctional family and you’re surrounded by insecure people in fractured relationships.

Wherever you go you see the same faces: Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson. Sometimes they look different, sometimes they talk different, but they’re definitely the same faces.

The kids in this world are older than their years and highly intelligent. They turn to you and say things like, “Did you think the characters were well-developed?”

You keep meeting people with deep, deep daddy issues. One guy is ashamed of his dad’s barbershop business; one girl flat-out says “I hate you” to her dad during dinner. To be fair, their dads aren’t great role models.

When you witness dancing, it’s always eccentric. There’s no other word for it.

Your world is littered with quaint items that often feel anachronistic – berets, binoculars, typewriters. You ask yourself again what year it is.