The Royal Tenenbaums

The Royal Tenenbaums


The Royal Tenenbaums review

Film description

In a Nutshell: 

A family of eccentric prodigies reunite after years apart to spend time with their father, who says he has only weeks to live. Really, it’s funnier than it sounds.



Family isn't a word. It's a sentence.


Eli Cash: 'Well, everyone knows Custer died at Little Bighorn. What this book presupposes is... maybe he didn't?'

Royal Tenenbaum: 'I'm very sorry for your loss. Your mother was a terribly attractive woman.'

Henry Sherman: 'I don't think you're an asshole, Royal. I just think you're kind of a son of a bitch.'


The Tenenbaum’s were once known as a prestigious family of geniuses who graced the front covers of magazines and spent time in the limelight for their work, but after the demise of the patriarch’s marriage the family grew distant.

Their mother, Etheline, still living in the family home where the three children grew up, has become a successful archaeologist and author. After years of silence her ex-husband, Royal, suddenly reappears announcing he has cancer and has only six weeks to live.

His one intention is to make right with his family and spend his remaining days with them.

Their children have not lived under the same roof for years but are drawn back from their separate lives soon after this declaration.

Chas, the eldest, has intense paranoia over the safety of his children, Ari and Uzi, after his wife’s death, and makes excuses to move his family back in.

Margot, their adopted daughter, is dealing with the breakdown of her marriage to neurologist Raleigh St. Clair.

The youngest son, Richie, once a champion tennis professional is now away at sea dealing with a mental breakdown; when he hears of the Tenenbaum reunion he instantly sets back home.

Each child has a different reaction to their father’s news and the strains of their relationships all come to the surface as he tries to repair the damage of a 20 year absence.

However, Royal’s tenacious character changes not only the lives of his family, but everyone around them too.

Written by: Charlotte Stear

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Release Dates

UK Cinema release
March 15th 2002
UK DVD release
January 1st 2003

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