Why was I even watching this film, you ask? I can’t think of a more appropriate query – pun intended. There were two motivators that compelled me to watch this. Naturally, the most prominent reason is Sarah Michelle Gellar, the one actress who I have maintained should star in every film ever. Secondly, the humorous cameo by Audra Blaser as Petal. I met her back at the premiere for The Toxic Avenger at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick. I just wish she had a larger role in Suburban Girl, since she lights up the screen in one of the few scenes that actually made The Sexy Armpit laugh.
The only movies my girlfriend and I agree on are usually those starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segal, or an iron clad Robert Downey Jr. Just like many women out there, she loves a good silly no-brainer romcom or a tear inducing drama, so once in a while I’ll meet her halfway. I found a movie starring SMG and Alec Baldwin that didn’t seem super cheesy, so it was a win-win.
In Suburban Girl, Alec Baldwin seems comfortable in the role of Archie Knox, a middle aged well known writer. The fact that Baldwin gives a sincere performance is not surprising since his role involves philandering, daughter issues, and alcoholism. Those aspects of Archie helped Baldwin provide the character with a very realistic quality.
Sarah Michelle Gellar plays Brett Eisenberg, a young associate book editor who falls for Archie. The much older Archie is noticeably taken by Brett and the two get their bang on. Their relationship is pretty weird, and almost uncomfortable in a father/daughter sort of way. That’s not some unfounded comment either, because Archie is looking to fill a void since his daughter doesn’t speak to him, while Gellar feels like her Dad, who has a terminal illness, was a bit cold and not as involved in her life when she was growing up. Subtext? It’s pretty blatant to me.
Not to diss a profession, but watching a film about an editor is almost as boring and tedious as learning the ins and outs of the editing process itself. Ultimately the film is not very interesting, nor does the “com” part of romcom exist aside from a few clever instances where you’ll definitely chuckle (i.e Solo Hacky Sack in Central Park, etc). As with many of the films I discuss here at The Sexy Armpit, this one has a few saving graces. The fact that it’s set in New York City is not one of them, but let’s take a look at the rest:
BRETT: “You were about to offer some advice?”
ARCHIE: “Well, when it comes to writers, there’s only one rule. Patience. Of course, if that fails, I know a very discreet hit-man who would spread the body parts all over Jersey.”
Later in the film, while flipping through a photo album of all the girls he’s bedded in the last 25 years or so, Archie mentions how he met his ex-wife at Princeton where he was a professor.
PETAL: “…I’m on hiatus right now…doing a play in the Village about the life of Eva Braun.”
I guess I’ll qualify Maggie Grace as one of the saving graces for the “Grace” correlation as well as the cool character Chloe who she brought to the screen. As Brett’s friend Chloe, Grace reminded me of a modern day version of Helen Hunt’s Lynn Stone from Girls Just Want to Have Fun, only less wild.
Well this book is obviously not a compendium of Archie’s sexual conquests, it’s Blubber a classic book written by Elizabeth, NJ born author Judy Blume!