The Strange Simons is a 2011 American Dark Comedy written and directed by the Brother's Cohen: Joel and Ethan Coen starring Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Kristen Wiig, Skylar Astin, Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Rooney Mara, Jesse Eisenberg and Bette Midler.

The film was well received and praised by audiences and critics performing good at the box office, the film went on to garner a cult following and secured two Oscar Nominations: Best Actor: Warren Beatty and Best Actress: Kristen Wiig.

The film was released on February 15th, 2011 theatrically and on DVD and Blu-Ray Format on June 17th, 2011.


Rusty Bentley (Warren Beatty) is an OCD Austin former psychiatrist turned apartment hermit.

He wakes up every morning at exactly 6:00 a.m to Bobby McFerrin's Don't Worry Be Happy, he has a wardrobe of identically matching shirts, slacks and a single pair of leather shoes he wears everywhere he does rarely go.

He is funded off on a sabbatical but isn't returning to work and finds almost no joy in life apart from puzzle arrangements and Bobby McFerrin's one hit song.

His life however breaks routine in a dramatic turn of events as a fellow apartment tenant Tina Brewster (Kristen Wiig) breaks into his apartment and begins to ransack money and various other items.

Instead of her reporting her to the police via a phone call he ends up sheltering the petrified peculiar woman as a Federal Agent comes looking for her.

He discovers she swindled a small fortune by mistake for her last boyfriend and he gambled the money away, since then she's been trying to steal back the right amount and return in hope of exoneration.

Another peculiar fellow tenant then enters Rusty's life named Tuck Simons (Skylar Astin) who claims to possess no parents and had rented a room at the hotel as possessed abusive foster parents.

Rusty then takes both under his wing and aims to help Tina get exonerated and Tuck be relinqueshed of his terrible adoptive parents' care.

The two flee to Tampa Valley where Rusty confronts Tina's horrible ex responsible for her jam and demands he turn himself in.

Rusty is attacked by Tina's ex and his gang members and after being hospitilized is informed in private that he possesses an inoperable brain tumor, one which will kill within the next few days as it prepares to implode.

He is informed that the tumor had originally been one that could have been extracted but seeing as he had failed to make yearly health checks over the past four years he's set to die as the tumor blows.

He is told he will be released and that it's best he spends the time he has left with his family and finishes any unfinished business he has.

Rusty then lies to Tina and Tuck stating he simply had a overpowered adrenaline and goes about getting fake i.d's for him and the others, deeming them all with Tuck's last name and states he will have Tuck removed from this abusive foster parents care and Tina exonerated for her crime.

He stakes out and threatens Tina's ex and ultimatley after a lengthy car chase gets him to confess to orchestrating Tina's thievery and that she was oblivious that she was stealing.

Their stay in Tampa is concluded at Tina's parents house for a family dinner which Rusty and Tuck accompany her to.

It is revealed her family had cut off contact with her after the report she had stolen the bank fortune and that if Tuck is her kid she's best off giving them over to them.

She goes off at her family and engages in a fight with her sister Beverley (Jennifer Connelly).

Rusty and Tuck then take Tina away and they leave her parents' estate.

The two then head to Sacramento and to the residence of the Simons where they discover his posh, upper class foster parents have abused several other adoptive kids who have been in their care.

Rusty and Tina coerce the others into coming forward along with Tuck in court testifying against them.

Mr. Simons attempts to rush forth and attack Tuck at the witness stand after the jury deems them guilty of their abuse, he is however knocked out by Rusty and the mother is punched by Tina.

Tuck is then put into the care of Tina and Rusty and Tina discovers his hidden medication for relinqueshing the pain caused by the compression on his brain.

Tina explodes and goes off at him, eventually breaking down and crying stating that she can't go on without him that she will get lost again, be hiding in an apartment for the rest of her life.

He reassures her saying everyone has to come out eventually and she makes the condition seeing as he resolved her and Tuck's issues they resolve his.

He claims he has nothing in need of resolving but Tuck digs into Rusty's past and discovers his parents died when he was young, he was moved from foster to foster home with his older sister Margaret who died of cardiac arrest when he was 15 and that he was formerly married to a woman named Diane (Jane Fonda).

Tina tells Rusty that they will be driving back to Austin but instead heads for Palm Beach where Diane has a listed residence she got in the divorce.

The divorce and her affair is revealed is what broke him and upon coming to visit her they discover she has a kid now and is with a man David who is a neurologist.

Rusty forgives Diane for her affair and she forgives him for running off and not taking the chance to sit down and talk out the whole affair like they are now.

He reveals he is going to die of an enlarged inoperable frontal lobe tumor.

Diane puts on the song Don't Worry Be Happy and it is revealed that the song was the song when they first met in a cafe in west end Austin.

The two embrace and dance slowly.

Meanwhile in the conservatory with Diane's kid Ben and husband David is Tuck and Tina.

Tuck bonds with Ben after he tells David is not his dad and he is adopted.

Tuck tells that he never knew his parents either but his real parents are a man named Rusty and a brave woman named Tina, he tells that it doesn't matter who made you in the first place, but who loved you and shaped you, he tells Ben that Diane and David love him and he is one extraordinary kid so they can't be anything short of his real parents.

Tina in her conversation with David bonds with him learning that he came from an uptight upper class family who kicked him out, refused to support him and didn't approve of his marriage to Diane.

Tina shares about her family who accused her of being deliberatley guilty of a crime and cutting her off and not supporting her.

A clash is then heard by David, Ben, Tuck and Tina from the greenroom and Rusty is found having a seizure spitting up blood on the floor with a screaming Diane beside him.

David rushes over and checks his vitals and Tuck is then rushed to the phone to call 911 for an ambulance.

Tina becomes stiff out of shock and Diane, Tina and Tuck pay him a visit whilest he is hospitlised and that night whilest staying at Diane and David's residence are phoned by David at the hospital that Rusty has passed.

Rusty is then cremated and his ashes seperated into two urns, one for the bereaved Diane and one for Tuck and Tina.

Tina and Tuck then come back to Tina's family's estate and are given an apology by each individual family member.

They reintroduce themselves to Tuck as his loving grandparents and the film ends with Tuck being sent off to Austin Heights High where he starts up with some of his old friends from Sacramento and has he departs Tina's car she plays the single of Bobby McFerrin's Don't Worry Be Happy smiling.


  • Warren Beatty as Rusty Bentley/ Rusty Simons
  • Jane Fonda as Diane Treenlen
  • Kristen Wiig as Tina Brewster/ Tina Simons
  • Skylar Astin as Tuck Simons
  • Elijah Wood as Samuel Brayworth
  • Rooney Mara as Jenny Porter
  • Jesse Eisenberg as Gordon Liue
  • Ron Livingston as Dr. David Treenlen
  • Jimmy Bennett as Benjamin Treenlen
  • Isla Fisher as Candace Shepherd
  • Jennifer Connelly as Beverly Brewster
  • Tracey Morgan as Roscoe Trumpster


  1. Don't Worry Be Happy- Bobby McFerrin
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