The story is set in a fictional nightclub on the Sunset Strip. A-list actors play several roles with real zest. They include
Cruise does a worthy job on Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive" and Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is." Zeta-Jones is very snappy singing
In the quirkiness that is "Moonrise Kingdom," Sam and Suzy meet with an instant knowing they are similar souls. They correspond for a year and arrange to meet for a secret getaway, causing a great uproar over their whereabouts.
It's 1965, and Sam and Suzy are 12 years old.
Wes Anderson has created a lot of idiosyncratic films ("Rushmore," "The Fantastic Mr. Fox") but this may be his most accessible one yet.
Sam, like all good Khaki Scouts, has come prepared to take care of Suzy in the wilderness of peaceful Penzance Island. She brings her books, a record player and her kitten. They create a cozy beachside camp, which they dub "Moonrise Kingdom" and chastely consummate their love — although Sam earnestly warns her, he may wet the bed at night.
Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward are wonderful as Sam and Suzy, and indeed all the kids in this movie have a great, deadpan rhythm that makes them both funny and poignant.
Such determined young love turns the grown ups wistful:
This "Kingdom" is an endearing fairy tale for anyone who's ever been in love.
JOHN DEPKO is a retired senior investigator for the Orange County public defender's office. He lives in Costa Mesa and works as a licensed private investigator.