If I described a film as "Napoleon Dynamite meets When Harry Met Sally," would that be enough to pique your interest? How about if I added that it was an oddball and off-kilter little indie from the fine folks down in New Zealand; would that make the idea seem more palatable? Well, to be honest, if you threw those descriptions at me as I was sitting down to watch Eagle vs. Shark, I'd probably roll my eyes, stifle a sigh and prepare myself for a film as familiar as it is unnecessary.
But like I always say: That's why we watch the movies. Because despite some over-quirky trappings and a fairly familiar sense of weird humor, Eagle vs. Shark is (in some ways) even better than Napoleon Dynamite -- the film which Eagle vs. Shark will be compared with most frequently. (I definitely enjoyed Napoleon, but it seemed to harbor a mild contempt for its characters, whereas Eagle most definitely does not.) Both films are set in exotically bland locales that are populated by humorously askew denizens who spew some seriously arcane conversations at one another. But there's a real sense of sweetness to this Kiwi import that elevates it beyond many of its ilk -- and the actors are really good.