Suburban Girl

Suburban Girl


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Sarah Michelle Gellar has been trying for years to put a stake through the heart of the vampire slayer - but Buffy has cast a long shadow.

The result has seen her pinging about between second-rate shriek-fests (the Grudge series, The Return) and dodgy comic book turns (Scooby-Doo, TMNT), so it must come as a relief to her to get her hands on a character that has been scripted for grown ups.

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Suburban Girl was one of two films featuring Gellar to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival - the other being The Air That I Breathe - and the more successful of the two.

Gellar plays Brett, an up-and-coming editor embarking on her first big job in the big city. Her boyfriend Jed (Chris Carmack) is in the wind and she finds herself increasingly attracted by the prospect of a May to December romance with ageing casanova and publishing top dog Archie (Alec Baldwin).

Curiously for a rom-com, this film is as much about the nature of family relationships as it is about bed-hopping. Brett has a particularly intense relationship with her father, which borders on idolatry, while Baldwin - in an unfortunate case of art imitating life - has a totally dysfunctional relationship with his daughter.

Between them, they roll through experiences - and the hay - learning something about life as they go.

The film works best when Baldwin and Gellar are together - aside from the fact that Gellar seriously needs to eat a bun or two (there is one scene, in particular, in which Baldwin carries her up some steps with no more difficulty than if he were taking home the shopping). Her acting lacks weight, too, when she is out on her own, with several of her lines sounding as though they are being read rather than experienced. Baldwin, on the other hand, lifts the scenes he is in with his brand of easy charm an antidote to occasional outbreaks of cheese in the script.

This is a gentle movie and although it is a little too cutesy in places, it makes a welcome change from the brasher Wedding Daze end of the market - which will probably appeal to a slightly older audience demographic. While by no means perfect, it has a lot of heart.

Reviewed on: 05 Jun 2007
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A May to December romance blossoms between an up-and-coming New York editor and a famous publishing lothario.

Director: Marc Klein

Writer: Marc Klein, based on short stories from The Girl's Guide To Hunting And Fishing by Melissa Bank

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alec Baldwin, Dennis Albanese, Audra Blaser, Vanessa Branch, Geoffrey Cantor, Chris Carmack, Nathan Corddry, Vincent De Paul, Richard Dreyfuss, Maggie Grace

Year: 2007

Runtime: 96 minutes

Country: USA


Tribeca 2007

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