I'm not sure how I went so long without seeing this movie. Well, actually, I guess I do know. I was busy when it came out, and when I saw snatches of it on TV, the scenes and characters just seemed so creepy that I wasn't really drawn to it. I was quite surprised, then, seeing it beginning to end, to realize that actually it is a very sweet film, and that the characters aren't nearly as disturbing as I thought they were going to be. I think that is part of the appeal of the film -- it seems that at any moment, something really disgusting is going to happen, but then it never does.
And the message of the film is surprising too -- I guess it's something like, "no matter how screwed up things are, they can still turn out all right," which is a message we always want to hear.