Synopsis by Jules Fox
The Peanut Butter Falcon is a funny, sweet, buddy story of two unlikely friends on a modern-day Mark Twain style expedition. By land, by water, and by any means necessary, a misfit group of adventurers are on an adventure of a lifetime. Feature film newcomers Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz, who both co-write, and co-direct The Peanut Butter Falcon, create a very appealing and entertaining piece of cinema. What they lack in originality or grandeur is more than compensated by credible and nuanced star performances. Zak (Zack Gottsagen) is a young man with Down syndrome, and his obsession with becoming a professional wrestler prompts him to break out of the nursing home he's required to live in. He's sure that if he can make it to a wrestling school run by The Saltwater Redneck (Thomas Haden Church), he will finally be able to achieve his dreams. Almost naked, and with no life skills to speak of, Zak is so determined to make it, that he will stop at nothing. His seemingly futile quest takes a turn when he meets Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), an amateur outlaw and crab fisherman who is also on the run. Tyler decides to take Zak in as his apprentice and says he will deliver him to the wrestling school. Eleanor (Dakota Johnson) is charged with finding her missing patient, which on paper seems like an easy enough task. But when she embarks on her quest to find young Zak, she becomes an accomplice to their antics, and she realizes that doing her job and doing the right thing aren't always the same thing. Together, the trio encounters a broad scope of humanity along the way, from villainous plots to kind people who only want to help. What they discover is that friends are the family one chooses. Regardless of what Zak thought he would become by getting into wrestling school, he learns important life lessons with the friends he makes on the way there. The Peanut Butter Falcon is the type of film in which even the cameos are interesting, heartfelt characters filled with their own vibrant personalities, which they lend to each scene. The often-literal twists and turns of their journey offer us a deeper glimpse into some of the overlooked parts of our country. A slapstick version of this film could easily have turned into a mean-spirited low-brow comedy aimed at people with down syndrome, but The Peanut Butter Falcon is the exact opposite. The laughs are genuine, the feels are real, and yet it still manages to portray differently abled people without coming across as preachy or morally heavy-handed. Ultimately, The Peanut Butter Falcon is the type of film that is genuinely funny and warm, and it reaffirms the possibility that movies that aren't sequels and don't have superheroes can still impress. The antics between the leads and their carefree, simple take on life is almost impossible not to fall in love with. The small scope of the film is a good reminder that little actions are just as important as the big ones.
Down-syndrome, journey, nursing-home, odd-friendship, runaway [from home], wrestler