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By Mark Bell | March 11, 2007

All hail the rise of geek-edy, taken to its obvious perfection in Taika Waititi’s feature film “Eagle vs. Shark.”

Lily works at a fast-food restaurant, and is on all accounts completely socially inept. Obliviously so. Her co-workers mock her and her manager wants to fire her, and her only real joy is the visit from video game retail store clerk Jarrod. If Lily is socially inept, Jarrod is on another planet of his own nerd-making, one where one’s worth is defined by their video game skills, and whether they can rock the nun-chuck in a street fight. Like stars aligning, Lily and Jarrod finally come together romantically after Lily attends Jarrod’s costume party in which everyone comes as their favorite animal. Things are looking like Geek #1 and Loser #2 have found the matches made in Cupid F**k-tank, when Jarrod drops the bomb that he has to leave town, to cryptically avenge his youth against a former bully. Not willing to let the love of her life leave so soon, Lily tags along. And the rest as they say, much like the minutes before it, is gut-busting hilarity.

Loren Horsley and Jemaine Clement are brilliant as Lily and Jarrod. Horsley’s Lily is amazingly offensive to one social senses, and that’s even when you’re on her side. Jemaine’s Jarrod is that kind of tech support prick geek that feels superior to everyone while being completely ridiculous in everything from attire to conversation. We’ve all met people like this, or we are people like this, and Loren and Jemaine are to be commended with bringing such socially destructive characters to life in such a way that is endearing and ultimately love-able. I could go on with scene re-caps and favorite quotes, but I want you to see the movie without my ruining any moments for you.

“Eagle vs. Shark” is refreshing in that, while it is hilarious on all counts, it also truly delves into the love of two people who would normally never have a romantic comedy made for them. Geeks in Hollywood are just hot people in glasses, or quirky male models. But in “Eagle vs. Shark,” the geeks have inherited the Earth, and given the respect and attention they deserve. They’re real, they’re in love and closer to reality more than 95% of the romantic comedies spoon-fed us annually.

I don’t care how you do it, you have to see “Eagle vs. Shark.” At worst, you’ll walk away amused. At best, you’ll have a new favorite movie. Regardless, you will have a fun time. Now I have to go train, because I am intense and mysterious, and sometimes people have trouble with my intensity because I’m complex… Goddamn I love this movie…

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