To best appreciate this suburban satire you'll have to agree with protagonist Richie Rosenbaum when he says that life is boring; otherwise his self-imposed exile will be just another narcissistic exercise in trendy, post-modern alienation. Richie's answer to boredom is to celebrate it, creating a mock ascetic lifestyle in his New Jersey suburban tract home with only a harmonica, some video diaries, and the bare walls for company. It's an interesting premise that goes nowhere, sidetracked by an uncomfortable sense of déjà vu in the use of video as a metaphor: an all-too familiar device fast becoming the cliché of choice in films about the big, bad 1980s. First time writer director Maggie Greenwald learned her trade working for the likes of John Landis and John Hughes (which may explain her preoccupation with boredom), but her halfhearted attempt to try something different only results in something entirely too conventional.
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