''The Royal Tenenbaums'' is a 2001 [[BlackComedy dark comedy]] directed by Creator/WesAnderson and written by Anderson and Creator/OwenWilson.

Probably the first Wes Anderson film to really hit the mainstream, it was nominated for [[UsefulNotes/AcademyAward the Oscar for best original screenplay]].


[[folder: ''The Royal Tenenbaums'' is about the Tenenbaum family: ]]

* Royal Tenenbaum (Creator/GeneHackman): former lawyer. The patriarch, distant and boozing, treats his kids very inequally. Is separated from...
* Etheline Tenenbaum (Creator/AnjelicaHuston): archeologist. Spent most of her early life schooling her three genius children...
** Chas Tenenbaum (Creator/BenStiller): Financial wizard. Went into business for himself at an early age selling Dalmatian mice. Had his father disbarred for stealing bonds out of his safety deposit box.
** Margot Tenenbaum (Creator/GwynethPaltrow): Playwright. Known for her secrecy (isn't that an oxymoron?). Hasn't written a play in years. Spends most of her time smoking in the bathroom.
** Richie Tenenbaum (Luke Wilson): Famous tennis player, known as The Baumer. Secretly in love with his adopted sister Margot. Very hairy and very sad.


[[folder: Other important characters include: ]]

* Eli Cash (Owen Wilson): Richie's childhood friend. Now a famous author.
* Raleigh St. Clair (Creator/BillMurray): Margot's neurologist husband.
* Henry Sherman (Creator/DannyGlover): The new object of Etheline's affection, also an accountant.
* Pagoda (Kumar Pallana): The Tenenbaums' servant. He both saved and endangered Royal Tenenbaum's life.

The movie depicts Royal's attempts at getting closer to his family after failing to pay rent at the Lindbergh Palace Hotel. He fakes stomach cancer to gain their sympathy and access to the family home. Like most Wes Anderson films, it is marked with quirky sets and costumes, as well as much deadpan humor.

A kind of sister movie to Anderson's later project ''Film/TheLifeAquaticWithSteveZissou'', which has nearly identical cast and a similar (though much more dream-like) atmosphere.
!!Provides examples of:
* AccidentalMurder: [[spoiler: Eli]] accidentally runs over [[spoiler: Chas's dog. Chas]] doesn't take it well.
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: Royal laughs when Margot [[spoiler: recreates him treating her as TheUnfavorite on the stage]] as part of his MustMakeAmends.
* AdultFear:
** Shortly after getting kicked out of your house for a very good reason, you find out that your favorite son attempted suicide, and you just barely catch him to talk about it. It's one of the few times in the movie that Royal is shown in a sympathetic light.
** Chas is overly protective of his kids after his wife died, and naturally freaks out when one of them comes home with dog's blood after a day with royal. This comes to a head at the wedding, where Eli [[spoiler: accidentally kills Chas, Ari and Uzi's dog.]]
* BeardOfSorrow: Richie grew a beard after he has an emotional breakdown on the tennis court, and keeps it throughout the film to highlight his depressed nature. [[spoiler: He shaves it right before attempting to kill himself. Afterwards, things start to look up.]]
* BiTheWay: Margot's background file shows that she had many lovers, one of whom was a woman.
* BigApplesauce: Despite taking place in New York City, Anderson went to great lengths to avoid any major landmarks. There's a scene earlier in the film - when Pagoda and Royal meet in Battery Park - in which Pagoda blocks the Statue of Liberty.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: But still managing to keep a StiffUpperLip about it.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Royal manages patch things up with his family, even when it comes to light he doesn't actually have cancer. Chas starts to bond with him, Margot starts writing again, and Richie finally acts on his romantic love for his adopted sister. The film ends with Royal's death and funeral.]]
* BlackComedy
* BraidsBeadsAndBuckskins: Eli Cash.
* BrotherSisterIncest: Subverted with Richie and Margot.
* BullyingTheDragon: Royal's attempts to antagonize and bully Henry out of the house royally backfire when Henry reveals [[spoiler: his deceased wife ''died'' of stomach cancer so he easily calls his bluff.]]
* BungledSuicide: [[spoiler:Richie]]
* EmotionlessGirl: Margot.
* {{Expy}} / ShoutOut: WordOfGod has it that Eli is a combined expy of authors Cormac [=McCarthy=] and Jay [=McInerney=]. Similarly, Margot's first husband - a Jamaican reggae musician named Desmond - is supposed to be reggae legend Desmond Dekker.
* FilmOfTheBook: The film's conceit is that it's based on a (nonexistent) best-selling book.
* FinancialAbuse: Royal was stealing money from Chas's safety deposit box, and the latter sued him for it.
* FirstFatherWins: Royal patches up his relationship with the kids, but [[spoiler: doesn't remarry his ex though.]]
* FourFingeredHands: Margot, after an accident.
** With the consequential [[FingerlessGloves alteration of her gloves]].
* GeneHunting: Margot attempts this at 14. It doesn't end well [[spoiler:(see above)]].
* GloryDays: The Tenenbaums were once a famous super-family, but now they're faded has-beens.
* GoodTimesMontage: A montage is showing Royal and his two grandsons spending a day together and having lots of fun.
* GuessWhoImMarrying: Chas and Royal have a problem with Etheline's upcoming marriage, as part of both of them having problems moving forward with their lives.
* HandyFeet: A barefoot Margot uses her toes to turn a doorknob.
* HeroicBSOD: May as well be ''Heroic BSOD: The Movie.''
** Richie hasn't played tennis since he lost a huge match the day after Margot married Raleigh.
** Margot is this for most of the movie, and finally gets out of it [[spoiler: after kindling a romantic relationship with Richie and Royal takes her out for lunch.]]
** Chas is playing on this - his wife's death has clearly affected him deeply and turned him into an OverprotectiveDad, but he doesn't seem openly depressed. He becomes this for a few minutes [[spoiler: after chasing down Eli for running down his dog]].
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: After a private detective reveals Margot's secrets, including numerous illicit affairs, Raleigh's first response is "She smokes?"
* ImportantHaircut: Richie cuts his hair and shaves in a detailed scene, and we're treated to one flash cut to his pre-shave appearance [[spoiler: just before a suicide attempt.]]
* InsistentTerminology: Royal always introduced Margot as his adopted daughter.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Royal treads the line between this and full blown {{Jerkass}}.
* LimitedWardrobe: One of the few live action examples. Every Tenenbaum child has a uniform that doesn't really change throughout the film/their entire lives. Chas's retirement of his wardrobe is a sign of character growth: WordOfGod says that he dressed himself and his sons in bright red track suits at all times so that if there was an emergency in a crowded place, they could spot one another easily. [[spoiler: By retiring this, it shows he's going to stop being so overprotective of his kids.]]
* LoveDodecahedron: Margot is desired by no fewer than three men in the movie itself, and we see flashbacks to several other failed relationships.
* {{Narrator}}: The narration is by Alec Baldwin.
* NotBloodSiblings: Deconstructed in that Richie still knows romantic feelings for Margot are unacceptable by society's standards, and his inability to deal with them or tell her how he feels contributes to his failing mental health. [[spoiler: After Richie's suicide attempt, she comes to realize how much she cares for him too, and they manage to become happy together.]]
* MustMakeAmends: Royal in the last third of the film. [[spoiler: He finds a lawyer to finalize divorce papers with his wife, refers to Margot as his "daughter" and supports her writing a play about him, brings Chas along on his outings, and comforts Richie.]]
* OverprotectiveDad: Chas, since his wife died.
* ParentalFavoritism: Richie is easily the favorite of the family. Royal told everyone he met Margot was adopted, and would introduce her as "My adopted daughter." Chaz had money stolen from him by Royal several times, usually by way of Royal having control over his businesses while he was still a minor, and seems to harbor the most resentment towards his father in adulthood. Richie got along well with Royal, who took him to (admittedly seedy) places around the city. When Royal comes back, Richie is the only one who hits it off with him right away, although Royal is a bit disappointed Richie lost his famous match (due to having placed a large bet that he'd win).
* PresentDayPast: The Tenenbaums are still stuck in the Seventies, their GloryDays. The soundtrack and their fashions reflect this.
* PrettyInMink: Margot. She always seemed to have a mink coat she would wear whenever she felt like it, even as a girl.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Though it takes a while for [[spoiler: Royal]] to find out.
* SceneryPorn: Every set is adorable and quirky.
* ShoutOut: A brother and sister living in a museum (hiding inside, at night) is more-or-less the plot of Creator/ELKonigsburg's ''Literature/FromTheMixedUpFilesOfMrsBasilEFrankweiler''. Minus the {{Squick}}, as it was a children's novel. Another literary reference: a character in J.D. Salinger's ''Franny and Zooey'' is endlessly in the bathtub, smoking, like Margot.
* SpiritualSequel: ''Film/TheLifeAquaticWithSteveZissou''.
* TakeThat: Peter Bradley, the talk show host who interviews Eli badly, is based on Charlie Rose. (The Criterion edition DVD of ''Film/{{Rushmore}}'' has among its bonus features Charley Rose interviews with Wes Anderson & Bill Murray. During the course of both interviews, Rose repeatedly states the main character's motivation as wanting his face on Mount Rushmore.)
* TeenGenius: All three Tenenbaum children are deconstructions - they peaked early, and their personal problems have far outweighed their given talents in adult life.
* TheUnfavorite: Margot, who is never allowed to forget that she's adopted, and that she's not a "real" member of the family.
* TwoDecadesBehind: One can be forgiven for assuming the film takes place in the late '70s or early '80s, until the year "2001" is shown on [[spoiler: Royal's tombstone]].
* WalkingTheEarth: Or sailing the Earth, which Richie did after he learned Margot was married.
* WhereDaWhiteWomenAt: Henry and Etheline.
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Royal fakes stomach cancer in order to reconnect with his family. Henry finds out it's a lie with little difficulty.
* YoureNotMyFather: Royal pulls a variant on Margot, and gets it thrown back in his face.
-->'''Royal:''' (''talking about Henry'') He's not your father.
-->'''Margot:''' Neither are you.