SUBURBAN GIRL: DVD
Brett Eisenberg (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is a naïve but ambitious associate book editor who spends much of her time with cynical, best-friend Chloe (Maggie Grace). She is missing her absent boyfriend Jed (Chris Carmack) who is away on a European holiday but becomes infatuated by the older, powerful publishing magnate, Archie Knox (Alec Baldwin), with whom she starts a relationship.
Review by Louise Keller:
The best thing about this May December romance is Alex Baldwin, who gives a compelling performance as the publishing king who keeps a photo album of his ex girlfriends. While the pairing of Baldwin and Sarah Michelle Gellar doesn't really compute, Baldwin's confident Archie is such a complete character that the focus is more on him than Gellar's Suburban Girl of the title. Mark Klein's adaptation of Melissa Bank's short story is enjoyable, even though it is hard to believe in the actions of his characters.
Gellar's Brett is ambitious in the field of publishing, and does her editing while walking down the street, sitting in cabs and doodling in the margins of copy any time. She's bright and bubbly with loads of sincerity. Her choice of best friend in the blonde, buxom Chloe (Maggie Grace) is unexpected ('Do you have any idea what standing in front of a library could do to my reputation?'). When Brett and Chloe meet Archie at the book store, Chloe seems like a better match for Archie, yet he chats up Brett, who orders dessert for supper and eats lollies from a paper bag. As he wines and dines her, we learn he is an alcoholic and diabetic with two ex-wives and a spiteful daughter. They exchange confidences (she says: I have a boyfriend; he says: I have a goldfish) and soon the romance is blooming.
Suburban Girl aspires to the success of Working Girl, but the mismatched characters prevent it from ever coming close. I like the way we meet the other men in Brett's life (Daddy and absent boyfriend Jed, with whom she is also totally mismatched). Before we know it, Brett has moved in with Archie and mixing with the publishing elite. There are nights out ('Good editors don't split the infinitive' Archie tells her in the middle of a huge row at an elegant soiree), nights at the movies ('You can't walk out of Citizen Kane; that's cinematic blasphemy') and nights at home. But the best thing about Suburban Girl is Baldwin, whose Archie may be filled with faults, but comes across as the most honest character in the film.
Published June 26, 2008
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SUBURBAN GIRL: DVD (M)
CAST: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alec Baldwin, Maggie Grace, James Naughton, Chris Carmack, Vanessa Branch, Peter Scolari
PRODUCER: Deborah Del Prete, Gigi Pritzker, Darryl Taja
DIRECTOR: Marc Klein
SCRIPT: Marc Klein (short story by Melissa Bank)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Steven Fierberg
EDITOR: Joan Sobel
MUSIC: Heitor Pereira
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Richard Hoover
RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary with Mark Klein
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: June 25, 2008
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.