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No one else seemed to mention it, so here goes:
"SubUrbia" is "The Wizard of Oz" for slackers (underemployed post-high school young Americans)
Buff is the Scarecrow (he lacks a brain)
Tim is the Lion (he lacks courage)
Jeff? is the Tin Man (he lacks a heart)
Sooze is Dorothy and Bee-Bee is Toto
The Wizard of Oz is Pony and his publicist, Erica, is a bit of a witch.
Obviously, "SubUrbia" is a comic-tragedy (black comedy), but the question is: do the main characters gain the brain, courage and heart that they lack at the beginning of the film? I think so:
Tim and Sooze will move to New York (she's seen through Pony's smoke and mirrors). Brainless Buff seems smarter and clearer at the very end of the film. Tim's heart is awakened when he picks up dead Bee-Bee on the roof of the convenience store.
First of all, this is NOT a comedy. Not in the least sense of the
I heard that people say that it's black humour.
Personally, I've seen alot of black comedies in my days, and Suburbia is
definitely not black humour.
This is tragic, and it is tragedy at it's best.
The plotline is really about nothing at all, which is exactly what the characters lives are about as well. The "big rockstar" Pony comes to meet with the good ol' guys (our supposed protagonists), but he isn't exactly met with open arms. Both Nicky Katt (Tim) and Giovanni Ribisi (Jeff) deliver great acting. Although their roles may seem simple and plain, but I doubt greater actors could have gotten more out of their roles. I just finished watching Suburbia for the fourth time, and it still manages to bring me down. If you're looking for a movie to lift your spirit, this is not it. I talked to a friend of mine earlier and since he's feeling a bit down all in all, he was really, really, reluctant to watch Suburbia.
"Suburbia" went straight to video in Sweden, and I can easily say it's the best straight-to-video flick I have ever seen. If you want to see a movie whose hopelessness stays with with until you got to sleep, and maybe the next day as well, Suburbia's the one to get. A depression wetdream.
Suburbia is without a doubt the best movie I have ever seen dealing
with young adult angst. No, there is no excessive drug abuse and there
is no moral tale to tell about the dangers of leading a overly
hedonistic lifestyle. In fact, Suburbia steers clear of the usual
teen/young adult stereotypes found in films such as Kids and Requiem
for a Dream. Unlike those films, this movie will not give you the
comfort of being a spectator watching a train wreck of a life. Instead
Suburbia will show you something so realistic that the characters on
screen could be you and that their problems could in fact be your own
problems, which is what makes this film so unbelievably powerful.
Released in 1996, this overlooked gem is about a group of friends who waste their days hanging out at the parking lot of a local convenience store. The film centers around the story of Jeff... a twenty-something guy who doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. Jeff's girlfriend, Sooze, is a zealous feminist performance artist wannabe with dreams of someday going to art school in New York. Jeff's two friends, Buff and Tim, are also drifting through life and not doing anything especially important. Buff works at a local pizzeria and does nothing but make up stories about getting laid and Tim spends his days and nights drinking alcohol. And Sooze's friend, Bee-Bee, is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict fresh out of rehab. The only person to leave and escape the suburbs was their old high school friend Pony... who left the suburbs and is now returning as a up and coming rock star. When Pony arrives onto the scene in a limousine with his nicely dressed publicist Erica the cast of characters react to his presence in variety of different ways. Buff and Sooze are both intrigued by Pony's success while Jeff and Tim are jealous of it. Bee-Bee is pretty much forgotten.... and she never let's her feelings be known to the rest of the characters.... She takes everything deep within herself and is perhaps the most self-destructive/self-loathing one out of them all.
In the end, Suburbia doesn't provide you with any clear answers or solutions, but it does raise a number of relevant social questions. As a young adult, this movie had a massive affect on me and it made me question the direction/course of my own life. I really think that this is one of the best movies I have ever seen and the script, acting, and filming was all top notch. However, there are certain things and elements in this film that make it sort of dated. This movie is obviously set during the 90's, but I really think that the messages found within this movie could still be applied to today's youth. This film really paints an ugly picture of the suburbs as a flat, plain, dull, and genuinely depressing landscape that breeds apathy in people.
Check this movie out. You will not regret it.
A story so simple, yet very touching, excellent performances, and a strong soundtrack makes this a movie you can't get out of your mind. Some people regard this as a comedy, and maybe in the beginning you may regard some of the lines as funny, but actually this is a very tragic tale of youth and the lives they live.
Eric Bogosian does it again. He made a great film with Oliver Stone (Talk
Radio), and here he works wonders again with Richard Linklater (of Slacker
Giovanni Ribisi is marvelous. Prior to viewing this film, I thought he was just a teen actor. Steve Zaun is also wonderful (the scene where he impulsively jumps up and hits his head on the street sign for no reason is a fave). Parker Posey (growl noise). Yummy.
Good film. Some plot problems, and a few issues here and there, but the wonderful Bogosian-penned dialogue makes up for it all.
All in all a solid 8-9.
This is a great story with a great cast of indie icons. Giovanni Ribisi does a convincing and sensitive portrayal of his troubling character and Steve Zahn continues to satisfy with his venue of off-the-wall characters. Indie queen Parker Posey pops up halfway through the movie, and even though, she's not in it that much, she still maintains her magnetic screen presence. Eric Bogosian's dialogue is a key element to making this film fantastic.
Without a doubt, this is one of (if not the) best films to never see a
DVD release. It's honestly nothing short of a travesty that, even in
2011, one cannot even purchase this excellent work on any modern
Mind you, thanks to streaming sites like Netflix, one can still get their hands on this one, even if they've long since put-away their old VHS player, but that doesn't do much for those of us who pride ourselves on our film collections.
Overall, this is a truly exceptional film with a fantastic cast, great soundtrack, and plenty of the amazing dialogue that Linklater's films are known for. If you haven't seen it- please do yourself a favor and give it a look... if you're anything like me, you won't be disappointed!
I would be curious to compare this with the original play, which I've never seen. Bogosian is a great writer and Linklatter seems like an odd choice to match with a strong dialog writer, since he goes for this numbly, seemingly improvisational style. That style fits this subject matter perfectly well, and he does capture that bored, pointless bitterness, but I'm wondering if a different director with the same script might have managed to make something that felt a little more intense. This movie just sort of ambled along with interesting little bits of drama here and there. It's all sort of interesting, the performances seem pretty good, but I was never drawn into this and I never cared about the characters, although they were convincing.
Wow, what a preachy mess.
Instead of being subtle, Eric Bogosian lays it on thick with impossibly silly and stupid characters. When it's all said and done, Bogosian thinks he can make the moral of the story sound less preachy if a Pakistani clerk delivers it.
It fails on every level.
My friends and I watched Dazed and Confused and loved it. When Suburbia came out, we noticed these two movies shared the same director. Suburbia was very disappointing, all the characters are ignorant and think they aren't. This movie portrays the fight for status among a group of idiotic young americans. The only smart person in the movie is the foreign "jiffy store" owner. The acting is fair. Parker Posey has definitely the most likeable character, and she plays her part well. Steve Zahn highly reminds me of Jim Brewer, and he does basically the only funny action in the entire movie. This movie had great potential, but the characters are unwilling to listen to reason. If you want to see a similar movie, watch Dazed and Confused. If you want to see one a little more mature, watch Swingers. I have to say I wasted $3.00 renting Suburbia.
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