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Eagle vs Shark is a 2007 dramatic-romantic-comedy starring Jemaine Clement and Loren Horsley. It is the first feature-length film directed by Taika Waititi, and received accolades at the Sundance Film Festival.

Lily (Horsley) is a painfully awkward young woman working in a fast-food restaurant with a crush on a regular customer, Jarrod.

Jarrod (Clement) is an equally awkward, videogame-obsessed nerd with virtually no redeeming qualities.

Things heat up when Lily shows up uninvited to a "dress as your favorite animal" party hosted by Jarrod and wows him with her savant-like videogame skills. Later, Jarrod confesses that he has to return to his hometown in order to get revenge on his high school nemesis, Eric Elisi (who is Samoan). Lily, smitten, tags along and meets Jarrod's dysfunctional extended family and other assorted inhabitants of the town. Everything falls apart from there.

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Tropes:

  • The Ace: Lily, though Jarrod keeps lying about her talents. She's good at videogames and only lost to Jarrod because she let him win, can hula hoop longer than most people and is a good enough throw to kill a seagull by accident.
  • Art Shift: The claymation sequences with the apples.
  • Atrocious Alias: Lily's videogame moniker is "Dangerous Person". Just watch her labouriously entering the whole thing onto the game's screen.
  • Bookends:
    • Lily sulking in her sleeping bag when she finds out Jarrod only dumped her so he could chase a better-looking woman, to which Jarrod responds by nestling up to her with his own sleeping bag. Their roles would be reversed towards the end.
    • Lily's name being written on slips of paper. Early on in the film she'd discovered the manager's decision to pick a random name out of a hat and lay that person off was rigged entirely against Lily, as every name in the hat was hers. When Lily impresses everyone with her hula-hooping, she envisions the chanting as confetti with her name written on every piece.
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    • Lily stops to smell some lillies growing outside Eric's house. Jarrod remembers this and picks a bunch of them to give to her.
    • Jarrod finds the "horse" game that Lily and her brother play lame. The last shot of the films is him playing "horse".
  • Break the Haughty: Jarrod's mission is to do this to his high school nemesis. In the end, he's the recipient of this trope.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Jarrod and Lily respectively. Though a lot of Jarrod's "brooding" can be seen as a misguided attempt to appear interesting/cool.
  • Burger Fool: Lily's employment at "Meaty Boy", of the more-depressing, non-teenager variety.
  • Creator Cameo: Director Taika Waititi as Gordon.
  • Cryptically Unhelpful Answer:
    It's revealed that Eric Elisi is now paralyzed.
    Jarrod: Why didn't you tell me?
    Mason: I did kind of.
    Jarrod: No, you didn't!
    Mason: On the phone before I came here you said, "When I'm finished with him he won't be able to walk.", and then I laughed.
    Jarrod: Is that what you meant?
    Mason: Yeah.
  • Disco Dan: Everyone in Jarrod's hometown has very dated fashion sense.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Mason tries chatting up Lily when Jarrod dumps her. She says "no thanks" and he utterly fails to maintain his cool, riding off on his bicycle shouting that he was joking even though you can hear him blubbering.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: Rare human example of this trope, owing to Jarrod's complete lack of social skills.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Jarrod's entire family.
  • Fictional Counterpart: "Fight Man" to Mortal Kombat.
  • G-Rated Sex: There's one sex scene in this (R-rated) movie, and it's not explicit at all.
  • Happier Home Movie: Of Gordon winning a race.
  • Implausible Deniability: Mason's computer has a porn "virus".
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Jarrod.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemy: Jarrod gives this reason for breaking up with Lily they get back together eventually.
  • Nerdy Bully: Jarrod is a posturing twit who doesn't get along with anybody he can't dominate. He also has no qualms about hitting a disabled man with nunchaku.
  • No Social Skills: Jarrod.
  • Parental Favoritism: Jarrod's father towards Gordon who has been dead for an unspecified amount of time.
  • Pet the Dog: Jarrod's not completely heartless. He nestles up to Lily when she's in a bad mood because he felt guilty leaving her alone in that state. He also remembered that she liked the flowers growing outside Eric's house and picked a few for her as a way of apologising for being a dick.
  • Reality Ensues: Jarrod's martial arts "training" is based entirely around whatever looks cool without actually building up his strength, honing his techniques or practicing evasion. When he goes up against a man who is bigger than himself, he leaves himself wide open for a counterattack and eventually gets stuck in a headlock.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The reason (or rather lack thereof) for Jarrod's "mission". So much so that he still fights the wheelchair-bound Eric Elisi. And loses.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Of the apologetic variety.
  • Shrinking Violet: Lily, though she toughens up over the course of the film.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The big fight scene is scored by a light ukulele tune.
  • Versus Title: Refers to the two main characters' favorite animals.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: Eric, who is Samoan. He bullied Jarrod when they were at school together, but that was clearly a long time ago and he's clearly grown out of that phase, since he's genuinely apologetic.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Jarrod really wants his dad's respect, while his dad seems to be exasperated by the fact that Jarrod even exists.
  • What the Fu Are You Doing?: Jarrod's training/fight technique.

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