YMMV: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

  • Better by a Different Name: The basic story plot (minus the backward aging) is incredibly similar to Forrest Gump.
    • Forrest Gump was so chock-full of blatant pandering to the Boomer demographic, whereas, this film contained more subtlety and, arguably, greater appeal across generational lines.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Many.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny:
    • "Did I ever tell you that I was struck by lightning seven times?"
    • "Sleep with me." "Absolutely."
  • 8.8: Some were not amused by Roger Ebert's "Thumbs Down" review of the movie.
  • Ending Fatigue: The other common criticism of the film (see They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot); the combination of slow pacing and a 166-minute run time will leave some audiences bored.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Just two years before the film came out, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett were slated to play the leads in The Fountain, but ultimately dropped out. In that film, they also would have played two star-crossed lovers dealing with the complications caused by unusual movement through time.
    • Though in the same year that The Fountain came out, Pitt and Blanchett DID appear together as a married pair undergoing difficulties in Babel (which, to go along with the time movement, had an unusual sequencing of its events).
  • Hollywood Homely: Subverted as Benjamin refers to Elizabeth (Tilda Swinton) as "plain as paper". When we first see her she is indeed plainly dressed and nothing remarkable. However as her and Benjamin's relationship progresses we get to see her done to the nines on a few occasions.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Did I ever tell you that I was struck by lightning seven times?"
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Benjamin is all grown up in his mind, but has the body of a young man, and so he goes to explore the world and do all sorts of interesting things in exotic locales. But all we get is a short montage.
  • One-Scene Wonder: "Did I ever tell you that I was struck by lightning seven times?"
  • Playing Against Type: Tilda Swinton normally plays Ice Queen or villainess characters. Here she is a Shrinking Violet that teaches Benjamin about love.
  • Sci Fi Ghetto: For a (relatively) fantasy movie, it did great with the Oscars and critics alike.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: Many make this observation to this film in its similarities to Forrest Gump; written by the same screenwriter, about a guy's life as he deals with the love of his life, encountering many people and parenthood.
  • Tear Jerker: The entire movie is one long tear-jerker, especially what happened in the end.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Probably the most common criticism of the film is that the curious case of the title barely impacts the plot at all. Seriously, does no one in the world take any interest in this phenomenon?
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Both the aging and anti-aging affects (a combination of makeup, CGI, and face/body mapping) were near-seamless, and won two of the film's Oscars.
    • Note that while Benjamin is the most extreme example, several other people in his life were also aged/anti-aged for the film, albeit in the normal direction.
  • What an Idiot: When Daisy crosses the street while dancing with her eyes shut, she is ran over by a car. While it is of common knowledge that the accident could have easily been avoided by the victim, the narrator introduces strangers marginally involved in the incident and carefully describes it as a coincidence instead of a potential Darwin Awards nomination.