Eagle vs Shark

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FLIP THE SCRIPT Clement and Horsley turn things around.

A misfit spin on the rom-com, Eagle vs Shark profiles two varieties of loser: Lily (Horsley), the enduringly optimistic oddball, and Jarrod (Clement), the overcompensating self-loather. While Jarrod pursues a misguided high-school-bully revenge mission, Lily pursues Jarrod. As a lighthearted portrait of outcasts living under the radar in New Zealand, Taika Waititi’s feature debut has been dubbed the Kiwi Napoleon Dynamite, a comparison both flattering and damning. Although Lily and Jarrod are outrageous, the actors’ subtle, deadpan performances keep pure caricature at bay—and also produce as much excruciating discomfort as laughter. (Opens Fri; Landmark Sunshine.)—Jane Borden

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