This is the first Coen Brothers film I've seen. I think I might need to see them all now. No plot spoilers other than what you can see in the trailer, but I will highlight the characters and the writing because I think they really do make the movie.
A reformed petty crook and a police officer fall in love. After a while, the wife wants to have children. Despite their best efforts, they are unable. In desperation, they kidnap one of a group of quintuplets born to a wealthy businessman and his wife and quickly discover that maybe they weren't ready for a kid just yet. It's as absurd as it sounds, and this movie handles the absurd beautifully.
Nicholas Cage is magnificent as the lanky, messy-haired, emotionally turbulent H. I. McDunnough. In a world where male heroes are so often stoic, violent, unrealistically fit badasses, "Hi" is instead thoughtful, loving, and emotionally expressive. His initial attraction to Edwina transforms into genuine care and affection when he sees her heartbroken by her fiance's rejection. He struggles with his place as a father and provider, but when everything goes hilariously wrong, he steps up, takes charge, and ultimately proves that his insecurities don't rule him. Hi's silent moments are some of his best acting, as Cage lets the character's emotion shine through him with the transparent absorption of a man walking through a dream.
Holly Hunter is Edwina McDunnough, casually known as "Ed", a devoted, passionate mother who knows how to lay down the law. Hunter brings impressive depth and range to a well-established archetype. Her motivations and emotions are never in doubt, and to Hi's credit, he gives her the space to openly voice her feelings and does his best to react gently and patiently. It's wonderful to see all the little moments of love and connection that they share, and this goes a long way in investing you in their story, despite their flaws and difficulties.
This leads to my favorite element of this movie - its humanity. The characters are larger than life and yet relatable. The script doesn't gloss over their moments of indignity, but it also doesn't turn any of them into a joke. The escaped convicts show loyalty when it doesn't do them any favors. Hi's amoral, racist foreman tries to help him when he's feeling down. The tyrannical businessman has a softer, kinder side. Grief, ecstasy, insecurity, and triumph blend together elegantly, and the movie never strays too far into either the dark or the comedic.
Following a maxim of art, Raising Arizona manages to be at once comforting and challenging. Watch it with your significant other and/or friends if you can. Absorb it like a dream. Enjoy it. Take something from it to make the rest of your life a little better. Then maybe watch some more Coen Brothers movies. I know I will.