×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Suburban Girl

Despite a faultlessly urbane turn by Alec Baldwin as the lecherous December to Sarah Michelle Gellar's blushing May, "Suburban Girl," a pseudo-sophisticated romantic comedy about the publishing biz adapted from two stories in Melissa Banks' bestseller "The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing," remains strained and artificial. Yet, curiously, the pic's awkward sense of striving reflects the gap between gangly immaturity and wished-for glamor, where much of chick-lit flourishes. Imminent release, timed to cash in on Baldwin's current real-life domestic notoriety (and hilarity-provoking coincidences), could spell respectable box office.

With:
Brett Eisenberg - Sarah Michelle Gellar Alex Knox - Alec Baldwin Robert Eisenberg - James Naughton Chloe - Maggie Grace Jed - Chris Carmack

Despite a faultlessly urbane turn by Alec Baldwin as the lecherous December to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s blushing May, “Suburban Girl,” a pseudo-sophisticated romantic comedy about the publishing biz adapted from two stories in Melissa Banks’ bestseller “The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing,” remains strained and artificial. Yet, curiously, the pic’s awkward sense of striving reflects the gap between gangly immaturity and wished-for glamor, where much of chick-lit flourishes. Imminent release, timed to cash in on Baldwin’s current real-life domestic notoriety (and hilarity-provoking coincidences), could spell respectable box office.

Gellar plays Brett, a naive young assistant editor who constantly second-guesses her work. She inexplicably hangs out with curvaceous best-friend Chloe (Maggie Grace, the first of several unusual casting choices), who seemingly never read a book and whose jaded cynicism has bypassed both wit and charm.

All the while, Brett impatiently pines for absent b.f. Jed, off touring Europe with nary a postcard home (Chris Carmack, in his brief scene, interprets Jed as a clueless fresh-faced pretty boy — making him a weird choice as the significant other to an aspiring editor).

Brett is therefore ripe to fall into the welcoming lap of publishing legend Alex Knox (Baldwin), a well-preserved lothario eager to mentor her in and out of the bedroom. The lovers soon move in together, their lopsided amounts of experience ostensibly providing mutual learning as they exchange routines, banter and literary marketplace acumen.

Pic reps the first directorial outing for scribe Marc Klein, whose previous, derivative scripts were goosed up by highly imagistic helmers like Ridley Scott (“A Good Year”) or Peter Chelsom (“Serendipity”). Klein opts for a more conventional visual approach, often concentrating on well-observed details of upscale Manhattan locations to the detriment of nuances of character and plot.

Opinion will doubtless vary as to the quality and seemliness of the sexual sparks flying between the two stars, fueled by daughter issues(!) on his side and daddy worship on hers. Baldwin’s ironic self-knowledge and flashes of vulnerability (a fascinating reworking of his “30 Rock” persona) dovetail well with Gellar’s wing-testing mixture of bravura and self-doubt.

But helmer/scribe Klein has no desire to push the envelope. Archly uncomfortable encounters between James Naughton as Gellar’s doctor father and his near-contemporary Baldwin are shifted into tragic gear by illness and impending death, Klein choosing easy sentiment over moral ambivalence every time.

Pic is aided greatly by Steven Fierberg’s classy Gotham lensing, thankfully free of veneration for landmarks.

Suburban Girl

Production: An Odd Lot Entertainment production in association with Catch 23 Prods. Produced by Deborah Del Prete, Gigi Pritzker, Daryl Taja. Executive producers, Don Field, Robert B. Sturm, Suzanne Wareen. Co-producer, Linda McDonough. Directed, written by Marc Klein, based on two short stories by Melissa Banks.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Steven Fierberg; editor, Joan Sobel; music, Heitor Pereira; production designer, Richard Hoover; costume designer, Patricia Field; sound (Dolby Digital), John D. McCormick. Reviewed at Tribeca Film Festival (Encounters), April 28, 2007. Running time: 97 MIN.

With: Brett Eisenberg - Sarah Michelle Gellar Alex Knox - Alec Baldwin Robert Eisenberg - James Naughton Chloe - Maggie Grace Jed - Chris Carmack

More Film

  • The Wizard of Oz

    'The Wizard of Oz' to Return to Theaters for 80th Anniversary

    “The Wizard of Oz” is returning to theaters this weekend for a special limited engagement marking the 80th anniversary of the film’s Hollywood premiere. Fathom Events, TCM, and Warner Bros. are re-releasing the beloved family film in select theaters across the country beginning on Sunday, Jan. 27, with additional dates on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and Wednesday [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jacek Bednarczyk/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

    Jonas Mekas, Influential Experimental Filmmaker, Dies at 96

    Jonas Mekas, the Lithuania-born filmmaker who started Film Culture magazine and the organization that became New York’s Anthology Film Archives, died Wednesday. He was 96. Anthology Film Archives wrote on Instagram, “He will be greatly missed but his light shines on.” View this post on Instagram Dear Friends, Jonas passed away quietly and peacefully early [...]

  • Annapurna Hire

    Annapurna Ups Sue Naegle to Chief Content Officer, Names Ivana Lombardi President of Film

    Sue Naegle has been named chief content officer at Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. Naegle joined the company as head of television in 2016, and will now oversee development and production in film, TV, video games, and the company’s fledgling theater division. As part of the reorganization, Ivana Lombardi has been named president of film, a [...]

  • Michael B Jordan Warner Bros

    Michael B. Jordan Signs First-Look Deal With Warner Bros.

    “Black Panther” and “Creed II” star Michael B. Jordan has signed a first-look deal with Warner Bros. for his production company Outlier Society. The deal was announced Wednesday by Toby Emmerich, chairman of the Warner Bros. Pictures Group. The studio noted that the alliance marks a continuation of their partnership following the unveiling of a [...]

  • Sandra Bullock Reborn

    Sandra Bullock Re-Teams With Netflix to Produce Sci-Fi Movie 'Reborn'

    Sandra Bullock is re-teaming with Netflix to produce the science-fiction movie “Reborn” for the streaming service. Chris McKay has been signed to direct the comic book adaptation. “It” producer Vertigo Entertainment is also on board to produce. Bullock starred in the Netflix movie “Bird Box,” which has been viewed in more than 80 million households, [...]

  • A still from Mike Wallace Is

    Portrait Docus Dominate at Sundance

    It’s not entirely surprising that portrait documentaries dominate this year’s Sundance nonfiction lineup. Two of the biggest nonfiction films of 2018 – “RBG” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” – are profile films that premiered at last year’s Sundance and later made the Oscar docu shortlist. The success of both docs could help explain why [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content