Though not exactly a romantic comedy, Suburban Girl is, nevertheless, a definite flick for chicks. It's one of those films that starts out upbeat and light then ultimately takes a serious turn; it's a movie that must not have lasted long at the box office because I never heard of it before it popped up on my free on-demand list. (A bit of research revealed it's adapted from Melissa Banks' very popular book The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing.) With a couple of actors like Alec Baldwin and Sarah Michelle Gellar starring, it seemed like one to check out; and it was - kind of. Baldwin is so witty and charming, the older man hitting on the younger woman, that I was compelled to keep watching.

Baldwin is so witty and charming, the older man hitting on the younger woman, that I was compelled to keep watching. His character Archie Knox is a well-known, well-established writer and editor. Gellar as Brett Eisenberg is a newbie editor, trying to climb the publishing ladder. Archie mentors Brett and woos her into his bed. Though she has a perfectly good dad, she responds to the father figure/teacher that he is. The problem is, he's got a womanising past and that issue continues to creep up, making Brett insecure about their relationship and the wisdom of being involved with him. Also, she works at a publishing house with a witch of a boss; it's very much The Devil Wears Prada of the publishing world. As such, we keep waiting for the other shoe to drop - we know it's coming; Archie is too good to be true. All I can say is, more than one shoe drops and our light-hearted comedy becomes very serious. Gellar is adequate in the role - she's a perfectly fine actress in many ways. But most interesting is to see Baldwin go from the role he usually inhabits as happy-go-lucky playboy to someone really emotionally in trouble. He doesn't often get the roles or the credit that he deserves for someone who really can go there as an actor when it's required. He's an excellent comedian, but he's also a very skilled thespian.
It's a good story; perhaps not a great one, but there's something classy about it. It's funny but not silly. It's refreshing to take in a film like this that doesn't pander and doesn't give us that typical Hollywood ending. It also has a literary bent that gives it some added intelligence. Oh, and the soundtrack is great - full of all kinds of interesting indie/alternative tunes that support the action quite beautifully. Finally, I query, why the title - Suburban Girl? Okay, she's originally from the suburbs, and goes back to visit her parents occasionally; a major event in her life occurs in those suburbs, but otherwise, she's very much an urban girl and the suburban mentality really doesn't seem to play a role in her decisions or perspective - or else I missed it. Ultimately, Suburban Girl is worth a watch, whether we understand the title or not.

Movie reviewed by Georgina Young-Ellis

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