“Friends are the family you choose.”
Peanut Butter Falcon tells the story of Zak a young man with down syndrome, who lives at an assisted living facility and dreams of one day escaping and seeing his wrestling hero. When Zak finally escapes, he runs into Tyler, a fisherman who is down on his luck. When the two set off on an adventure, the relationship then takes on a brotherly turn as each young man doesn’t have anyone else to care for them, and may just be what the other one needs to find peace in their life. Peanut Butter Falcon is a sweet endearing film that brings together two characters, from two different worlds, and makes them into best buddies. All in all, making the film one of the best feel good movies of the year.
It is a sappy story, but the majority of Peanut Butter Falcon never becomes overtly emotional. Shia LaBeouf who plays Tyler in the film, deals with his own inner demons after the death of his brother. As he comes across Zak (Zack Gottsagen) in his fishing boat, he takes on the big brother role that he so misses from his older brother. I must say, I don’t believe that LaBeouf ever had a mishap with his acting, but lost his way there for a minute, and Peanut Butter Falcon attests to that. LaBeouf’s performance in this film is completely genuine and the chemistry between him and Gottsagen in excellent. I never for one minute felt like the chemistry on screen was forced, or that LaBeouf and Gottsagen were merely acting. Dakota Johnson soon gets into the mix, as she plays Eleanor, the R.N in charge of finding Zak. The three of these characters are simply wonderful, making this a very sweet and moving film.
The sweetness in Peanut Butter Falcon goes a long way. With a story such as this, films often find themselves drowning in forced emotion while trying to make the character with a disability seem endearing. But Peanut Butter Falcon never fully becomes that eye-rolling film. There is a slow-motion scene between some of the characters, towards the end, that become a little “really?”. But even with that cheesy ending, the film still had the enjoyment of the story intact, because that’s what the film is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a little sappy, while tugging at those heart-strings in the process. Peanut Butter Falcon perfectly blends drama, and comedy, and makes this a film that you can truly enjoy from start to finish.
Peanut Butter Falcon is so sweet that it may just give you a toothache. Well, maybe not literally, but this feel good movie is simply wonderful. The film feels so real as you’re seeing each character find their place in the world. That by finding each other, may just be the jumping off point of turning their lives around. So when you need one of those feel-good movies to enjoy, look no further than Peanut Butter Falcon.
Peanut Butter Falcon
Written and Directed by: Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, and Zack Gottsagen