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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

nowhere to go in the Jersey suburbs

4/10
Author: Michael Neumann from United States
27 November 2010

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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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

great little movie if you can find it

9/10
Author: frontcounter from Seattle, Wa
28 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a difficult film to find but worth the trouble. The relationship between the two main characters is remarkable. A middle-aged middle-class wife and mother plops herself down in her deck chair in the new neighbor's backyard- a 30 something bachelor trying to recover from a bad break up. Like when the new kid moved in on the block, they go from weariness to friendship interacting like a couple of elementary school children. Both discover a love of life again through the other. However,as their relationship grows trouble follows. Two stand out performances make this gem work- the two main characters are believable in their childishness. A serious but funny questioning of the price paid and rationales for "adult" life.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

a strange and unique little film...

7/10
Author: jcx238 from nyc
12 December 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

it's been years since i saw this on video - probably since around about when it came out - but little fragments stick in my mind.. it's a darkly humourous suburban-hell type comedy -(SPOILERS?) something about a guy who seems to hate everything and everyone holding up in his house who starts to have an attraction to his strange and not-very-happily-married next door neighbor - he's not very likeable (despite at one point painting his room and himself blue and pretending to be underwater) but, through the development of his relationship with with his neighbor, he becomes more and more likeable.. they both seem out of place in the world they're living in and the possibility of escape together becomes a driving concern (end SPOILERS)... they're odd-balls and quirky and so is this little film - a small and goofy cast set in and around a few backyards in suburban - New Jersey, i think it was... i remember finding the female lead to be endearing and cute - and the male lead goes from being annoying to bordering on heroic.. i think i may have liked the music, as well - i don't quite remember... i'd see it again if i could find it somewhere.. i remember reading an interview with the director, all those years ago, in which she talked of wanting to direct an adaptation of Jim Thompson's 'Savage Night' - one of his most twisted novels - and i kept waiting and hoping to see it.. well, she ended up doing 'The Kill-Off', instead - another one i'm going to try to track down (i also remember being really impressed with that interview)...

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