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Suburban Girl (DVD)

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Genre: Romance / Theatrical Release: 2007 / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Marc Klein / Actors: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alec Baldwin, Maggie Grace, James Naughton, Chris Carmack ... / DVD released 2008-05-26 at Lions Gate Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL

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    2 Reviews
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      14.09.2009 15:03
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      Give It A Miss!

      Suburban Girl is an American movie which comes under the comedy , romance and drama genres. The film stars Sarah Michelle Gellar. Running time of this movie is ninety seven minutes (seven minutes over one hour and a half). This movie is a 12 , which means it should not be seen by persons under the age of twelve.

      Brett is a young woman , working hard to progress up the New York Publishing ladder. She is determined to be a success , and so to try and improve her chances , she goes ahead to a book signing in hope of meeting 'big publishing giant' Archie. She does in fact get to meet him , and soon he is treating her to expensive gifts and glamourous dates.But what will happen when the age difference and Archie's alcohol problem begin to get in the way of their romance ? Watch Suburban Girl to find out!

      I first heard of this movie when I saw a full page advert for it in a magazine. The advert looked really girlie and glamorous and it was that , that drew me to this film. This film is certainly a girlie girl's film , and so I think it's perfect for a night in with the girls , with a mug of hot chocolate and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.

      I have never seen a movie with Sarah Michelle Gellar in before , although I had seen an interview with her when she made an appearance on the Friday Night With Jonathon Ross programme ; and I liked her so decided I was going to see what her movies were like , and so I chose this one.

      I wasn't impressed by Gellar's acting ability. If I'm honest , before I'd seen this movie , I had thought of her as a 'pretty blonde who probably couldn't act!' and right I was. Her performance was too 'amateur' like for my liking and I feel she didn't bring much to the movie.The character she played wasn't realistic and I found the on-screen chemistry between Brett and Archie non existent. For one thing , Archie wasn't even 'hot stuff'; I think someone like George Clooney would have been more suitable for the role of the 'older man' that Archie was.

      The storyline wasn't that original ; A lot of chick flick comedies have a 'young , successful woman who almost always works for a magazine or something similar' and so with this movie I felt as though I had seen it all before. To think, the storyline wasn't very genuine (I know it's fiction , but that's not the point!hehe!) , because Brett only wanted to meet Archie to further her career and she ends up dating him. Wasn't she just planning on using him to better herself ?! She also moaned all the time which got on my nerves! Brett was cetainly not a character I could relate to!

      I found the scenes jumped so quickly that at times I felt lost and 'not with' the movie at all. This movie was all 'go!go!go!' , which I found didn't allow the viewer enough time to absorb what was going on and make up their own minds about the situation. Another thing I found was that , because the movie jumped from scene to scene so quickly , once an event had happened, it went straight onto another event before the viewer could thing 'oh this happened because of this....' etc.

      Considering this movie is meant to come under the comedy genre (as well as coming under the romance and drama genres) , although I don't think I laughed once at this movie , and that's saying something , because I have a tendency to laugh at everything! But this movie just didn't do it for me!

      If your a fan of Gellar then you might want to see it , but I just did not enjoy it all and certainly wouldn't watch it again. It's a waste of money!

      Thanks For Reading!
      September 14th 2009
      xd-o-n-z-x (also posted on ciao under xdonzx)

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      21.12.2008 15:49
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      A Clever and Worth While Chick Flick

      Brett Einsenberg seems to have everything - a good job as a book editor, close friends, a loving family and a hip young boyfriend.... but something is missing in her life. She doesn't know why there is a hole in her heart, but when she meets the hugely successful but substantially older Archie Knox she feels an instant connection. Their friendship slowly morphs into something more and flourishes into a romantic relationship - but when a devastating blow hits Brett and some of Archie's dark secrets come to the fore can they survive in the judgemental world of book editing. Brett is forced to grow up and regain her independence away from the support that she had previously treasured, sparking a sequence of events that will change herlife forever.

      Suburban Girl is a fairly standard but moving and entertaining dramedy which is greatly bolstered by two brilliant lead performances, a willingness to explore serious issues and a uniquely engaging heart. It isn't as funny or charming as it should be and adopts a very melancholy tone and pace that takes some getting used to - but once it ditches its rom-com pretence it's actually rather interesting and touching. It's based on a screenplay which isn't particularly sure footed but the film has a shabby-charm and an interesting premise that is dealt with sensitively and stylishly. It never falls into genre cliché, which turns out to be both positive and negative, and it has some really nice moments of characterisation. It will take you a while, but by the half way point you should be hooked in and genuinely care about Brett's journey into personal independence and overall adulthood. It never really rises above its pacing issues and slightly soggy plot but you could definitely do worse than this thoughtful, sensitive and fairly well developed piece of Hollywood drama romance.

      Suburban Girl is one of those films that doesn't really leave an impression and never really hits its stride; there are moments that are genuinely romantic as well as moments that are truly moving but they come few and far between and are bogged down by a dullness that overshadows the whole film. The first hour feels extremely familiar and is typical of the genre - lacking anything original or special (apart from Michelle Gellar's rather amiable presence). But as the film progresses and the screenplay beefs up the characters it starts to distinguish itself from others in the genre; there are some extremely unexpected and adult plot twists and a finale which is refreshingly unconventional, if a little depressing. It deals with issues such as alcoholism, infidelity and the death of a parent with a pleasing lightness of touch and a lot of sensitivity without being too gloomy. It does possess a literary flare - but it never really makes the leap from ordinary to truly engaging and it feels very slow at parts.

      The screenplay deserves credit for trying something different and for trying to add depth into an often depthless genre; the dialogue is often sophisticated and the whole thing is relatively tightly plotted. Marc Klein attempts to write a mature script to carry the story along, and although it doesn't really pull through, it makes for an intriguing attempt. There is a nice balance between romance and drama which makes the film feel rounded, despite moments that really lag, and some of its attempts to add poignancy are very successful. The problem is that it is extremely uneven and is never really graceful; the great stands side-by-side with the drab and its relentless assault of the tear ducts feels a little, or alot, cheap. Marc Klein succeeds most when concentrating on the very personal journey of Brett - her voyage into independence is actually rather touching and emotional and there are some great chunks of characterisation throughout. When the screenplay focuses on Archie and Brett's relationship the quality becomes a little blurred as it tries to capture the audience's heart without being particularly charming.

      Sarah Michelle Gellar is an extremely pleasant force within the film; making Brett feel real and possessing an intelligent and charming energy which really helps the film. She is obviously capable of dealing with the emotional sequences and is also adept at some of the more comedic set-pieces - adding grace and class to her character. She is very comfortable in front of the camera and is a genuinely effective romantic leads. Her success comes from being able to embody both vulnerability and strength at the same time (a trait which made her stint on Buffy incredibly compelling) and she is also really attractive, which doesn't hurt. Alec Baldwin doesn't really fare as well, he seems more smarmy than charming and he doesn't seem to invest a lot of emotion into the proceedings. Despite the fact that he is given some good material to work with, he never really affects the audience and his relationship with Brett isn't particularly believable. He is better towards the end of the film, when his character begins to unravel - but he never really connects with the script and isn't especially appealing.

      Marc Klein fails as a director because he never creates the right tone and uses great shifts in tone that really don't work and throw the audience off. He never establishes what he wants it to be and so the film ends up all over the place; directionless and disjointed. It is great at many different things, but once those elements come together the flick just doesn't gel. There is a freshness to the script, and subject matter, which really isn't seen in the direction.... it should be more engaging and entertaining, but it comes off as slightly dull and by the time the conclusion rolls around it feels like a complete anti-climax rather than a touching conclusion. There are potentially interesting sub-plots which are left undeveloped and some characters drift in and out without much thought or purpose, giving the film a weird lack of continuity. At times it has the sophisticated look of an old Woody Allen movie and It just isn't a lot of fun, despite some funny elements and Klein fails to capitalise on his screenplays success with any kind of lightness of touch. There is potential in there and it does shine through regularly enough to make the whole thing worthwhile, it just could have been so much more.

      Overall Suburban Girl is a stylish and substantial entry in the rom-com genre despite the fact that it is pretty forgettable stuff. Sarah Michelle Gellar is a compelling and appealing lead star and the screenplay explores some interesting issues without dipping into drab cliché. It is armed with some smarts but is unfortunately slow and tip-toes towards a rather surprising finale - which lacks enough of an emotional punch to make the whole thing memorable.

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