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The Suburbans More at IMDbPro »

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Drags On

Author: Rick Blaine from London
28 May 2006

Almost every comment or review you will read about this one is accurate. Whether you like it or not is up to you. You might also see someone write something about the team making a good effort. This is true too.

You'll see some people saying there's just too much dialogue. This is true as well. And they'll mostly say Amy Brenneman is the one that stands out. And that's true too.

But the movie drags. For all the good intentions, for all the clever skits, it drags - and that's unfortunate. It's fun to watch - Bierko is a riot and Hewitt is gorgeous, and let's not forget the Stillers in a wacky portrayal - but it's bits and pieces, it's too disparate, it doesn't grab you through a well organised and successful plot - it's bits and pieces with a thread someone tried to sew through it all afterwards. The story doesn't have momentum of its own and the plot mechanisms seem contrived and arbitrary. And you don't feel any empathy for any of the characters - not even for Amy's. Not enough to keep you enjoying, really enjoying the movie, on the edge of your seat, and so forth and so on. And stylistically it tries to attack everything at once - and that's never going to work.

You may enjoy this one - minimally. And it isn't for their not making an effort. But there are important ingredients missing. The acting's mostly great, the writing too - there just isn't enough good plot packed story. It drags on.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Some moments, but poorly structured

Author: bass-player-blues from Minnesota
21 October 2009

When watching this film, it seems to have a big identity crisis throughout. It has all the right components to be a hilarious comedy, but doesn't deliver when it should; often merging into boring drama and romance side plots for long periods of time. After seeing the powerful cast consisting of Ferrell, Hewitt, and Stiller, it's easy to build up high expectations. Here's my analysis of that: Will Ferrell's presence in this film is so insignificant that he shouldn't even have been in the movie at all. He was already pretty big, so I don't get why he was in such a menial role and literally has about 3 light chuckle lines in the whole film.

Stiller has a menial role as well, but his character is funny and one of the higher points of the movie. Jennifer Love Hewitt does a good job with the decent-bad material presented to her, and she gets a lot of screen time. Her character is cute and one of the better aspects of the film.

There are some notably funny elements here and there, but nothing that grabs you as a whole.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Never before has a movie done so little with so much

Author: ItsMeWil from Houston, Texas
25 August 2000

I have rarely watched a movie I didn't enjoy at all. This is one of those movies. When I opened up the box, I noticed that the tape was halfway rewound, but now I realize that whoever had rented it before me had the good sense to turn it off halfway through and not even waste time rewinding it. This may be the worst movie I've ever seen. The premise is intriguing and Hewitt's presence attracted my attention, but I soon realized that 80 minutes is too long a time to watch these dull, pathetic characters in a directionless story that falls on its face. Toss this movie out in the road where it may be mercifully run over by a Suburban.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:


Author: SnoochieBoochies89 from United States
23 February 2008

there are just some things Long Islanders love: good pizza/bagels, mafia movies, the beach, and hearing shout-outs to towns and landmarks on our beloved home. Goodfellas takes care of the mafia movies and the shout-outs, and the Suburbans basically use the latter to keep me watching the sorry piece of film. I was practically jumping out of my seat when they said "sunrise mall" and the house that was in Wantagh... so all that being said, that was the only part of the movie that was in any way enticing or watchable. And Will Ferrell was pretty funny, but definitely needed to be featured better. Forget this movie. Oh wait, you've never heard of it and never will....for God's sake im only watching it cause it's on some secondary HBO channel and they know no one's watching.

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11 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Worst movie Ed Burns never made

Author: jasonbrainard from United States
13 December 2007

I actually turned this movie off after an hour, when my wife suggested, "Maybe Oprah has something interesting on." No amount of booze could make this movie tolerable. I'm not sure what algorithm Netflix is using to suggest this film to me, but they need to hire some new mathematicians. Ben Stiller proves yet again he is a one-trick-pony here. Jennifer Love is...Jennifer Love. Will Ferrel -- god help me -- is under-utilized. Decent enough premise. Perhaps different editing could have helped? Maybe some T&A? If not, less adult-oriented humor so I could have played Candyland with the kids while suffering through the last 20 minutes? And for god's sake, a movie abut musicians sure could use a decent soundtrack!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Unfunny writing and weak comedic performances

Author: SnoopyStyle
12 February 2014

Four guys Danny (Donal Lardner Ward), Rory (Tony Guma), Mitch (Craig Bierko), and Gil (Will Ferrell) are 30something friends who were once a big 80's one-hit band called The Suburbans. When they perform at Gil's wedding to help Mitch with a hot fan, a record company scout (Jennifer Love Hewitt) in the audience gets them a comeback show for their nostalgia showcase.

Donal Lardner Ward wrote/directed/star in this movie. Quite frankly, I don't know how he got so many then and future stars in this one movie. Ben Stiller and his dad try to ham it up as record studio suits. Will Ferrell is channeling an idiot bass player. However Will can't save this. The fact is the band doesn't have the comedic chops. Craig Bierko is fitting for the lead singer jerk. But the two writers Donal Lardner Ward and Tony Guma should not be lead actors. They really need to search for better comedians to do those roles. The writing is broadly unfunny, and the performances are generally flat.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Good ThirtySomething Comedy

Author: krbeyer from San Jose, CA
18 November 2001

This is a silly comedy that I could relate to being in my thirties. Will Ferrell is quite good in this film. There is some good satire. If you don't take the film seriously you can get some good laughs out of it.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

When it's good, it's very, very good

Author: thefan-2 from Detroit
18 March 2000

It's a strange mix of broad satire and angsty romantic comedy.

The satire is hilarious. Ben and Jerry Stiller are wonderful as a father/son team of record company execs. Jennifer Love Hewitt is equally wonderful as long as she stays on the satire side of the line; when the script shoves her over onto the romantic comedy side, she never quite recovers her balance. She has to play two completely different characters; she can't be blamed if it doesn't quite work.

Amy Brenneman, stuck on the romantic comedy side, does her formidable best to make her character work. In fact, she is by far the most sympathetic and memorable character in the movie.

Definitely worth a rental.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Dance hall days come back to haunt us.

Author: Hootie-2 from Sydney, Australia
17 October 1999

"The Suburbans" makes an interesting bookend to the British film "Still Crazy", in that they both deal with the same subject matter (old band reunites after a long absence) but deal with different eras and different conflicts. Having said that, they're both equally uninspiring, although The Suburbans manages to be somewhat funnier than Still Crazy. Some quality work by the actors is found in The Suburbans, especially from bit players Amy Brenneman and Jennifer Love Hewitt. A last minute cameo makes the film seem funnier than it really is, but those in the mood for some retro baiting may find something the laugh about here.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Almost as dull as Chicago. (That's the band, not the city.)

Author: Victor Field from London, England
8 March 2003

"The Suburbans" is part comedy, part drama and all misfire - in 1981 the band of the title scores its one and only hit, and in 1999 the members are talked into performing at a wedding for a fan in the Navy. A representative for entertainment company EVI later approaches them about making a comeback...

Co-writer/director/co-star Donal Gardner Ward's movie positions the group as one-hit wonders who most people don't really want back, but the group itself is more problematic than intended; if their song had been either good (like the Wonders' "That Thing You Do" from the movie of the same name) or at least a believable 1980s pastiche, their status as one-hit wonders from the Neon Decade would have been plausible. Unfortunately neither is the case, particularly the latter - as well as being a limp rock track, it sounds way too 1990s to be passable. This proves to have a knock-on effect on the movie; the person who brings them to EVI turns out to have had an obsession with one of the Suburbans since she was seven. The trouble is, she's played by Jennifer Love Hewitt - who looks as if she was barely out of Pampers in the early '80s (and she was, since she was born in 1979).

The band members are universally uninteresting, the music's boring, and it's impossible to see what the point of it all is - it looks like a home movie, it's almost never funny, it's never dramatic, and the appearance of A Flock Of Seagulls at the end marks the only true taste of/nostalgia for the 1980s in the entire movie. The appearances of Robert Loggia as the father of the bride, Antonio "Huggy Bear" Fargas as a club owner, Ben Stiller and Jerry Stiller as EVI bosses, J.J. Abrams (creator of "Felicity" and "Alias") as a journalist, and JLH (whose display to Amy Brenneman in the kitchen is, to be honest, the highpoint of the movie) liven things up, but not enough to raise the movie's level.

At least the last time Jennifer Love Hewitt and Bridgette Wilson were in the same movie was "I Know What You Did Last Summer," which wasn't boring.

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