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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 24%
Average: 24%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 19 user ratings

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Lurking in Suburbia
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by Erik Childress

"So, what else is new?"
3 stars

Two non-national holidays in the life of any young person are the ten-year high-school reunion and turning 30. Like it or not, they are seminal events on the timeline that are either ignored completely or build up enough angst to make one reevaluate their entire life. Either way, studies have proven that 86% of 29-year olds write a screenplay about one of them and about half of them get produced. Sometimes you get Beautiful Girls, sometimes its 13 Going On 30. Lurking In Suburbia is somewhere right smack dab in the middle, providing a few humorous insights but more often is more of the same angst.

The unfortunately named Conrad (or “Connie”) Stevens (Joe Egender, looking like Giovanni Ribisi’s younger brother) is about to take that second trip in his life where both numbers in his age turn over. In the next 24 hours, give or take, Connie is going to talk to us about his life, his friends, his hopes and his dreams. Back when he was 14, his first girlfriend screwed him up so much he “did what everyone else did – built an emotional shield around himself and became a writer.” (Speak for yourself, Connie. Oh OK, guilty.)

He lives in a house with a collection of old school buddies and Frankie (Buffy Charlet) whose was kicked out of her house years ago and has now made her way around to sleeping with everyone under the new roof. Sean (Samuel Child) is the resident stud with both a Peter Pan AND a mommy complex. His present to Connie is sloppy seconds on the underage daughter of a girl they once went to high school with (and whom Sean slept with.) Back in town for Connie’s big celebration is Danny (nicely played by Ari Zagaris), the former star QB who later came out of the locker and is still looking to find himself.

Lurking In Suburbia keeps a running clock going on the day’s proceedings that doesn’t really add much until a final “AM” stipulating that time is meaningless. How anyone responds to the film will likely rest on their own personal experiences with not only the pseudo mid-life crisis, but the crowd they hung around. Those with steady jobs or success stories will be shouting “grow up already" and others with minimal knowledge of the Greek alphabet will be the ones responding to the characters comparing fraternity stunts. Having lived in the suburbs all my life, being party to another film with a patronizing view of the conditions (“suburbia is giving up on living life”) doesn’t exactly prescribe the necessary sympathy pills for me.

This never detracts from the general likeability of the characters. Conrad may not approve of the suburbs, but it comes from an introspective boredom rather than a pompous vindictiveness. A writer writes always, except normally in movies like this where a publisher has provided the advance but has nothing to show for it because of the author’s malaise. Conrad has a lot to say, so maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn later that he’s actually written nine novels (all about “growing up”). We assume none have been published. When he asks if we mind that he feels like being quiet, we’re almost happy for the break

Conrad does have one coup de grace though as he reveals the “Things a man should never do after the age of 30” which includes using “party” as a verb, jello shots and enjoying Jerry Bruckheimer movies. (Does that mean I can only like Pirates of the Caribbean for another year?) Nevertheless it’s a great, funny list that is credited over the closing scroll to Wayne Northcross in Esquire magazine. I guess that should come as no surprise either.

I’m always interested to see that second 24 hours, after the tearful confessions have been forgotten and the booze has gone flat. Does anyone just pick up the pieces over the course of a single day? Conrad mishandles situations over just a few hours, like the unconvincing scenes with a stripper (Mitzi Thompson), each one diluting the meaning of the previous one. Lurking In Suburbia isn’t a bad film, just a too-familiar one that has its share of laughs but not quite an enlightenment that most haven’t learned by that age. Statistics do tell us that our fate will be something much harsher than staring down another ten years before the next age crisis. Maybe you can tell who your true friends are by who takes the 1.3 seconds to wish you Happy Birthday when it matters. And possibly one of the things that should be added to the Esquire list is creating another movie about a guy turning 30.

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originally posted: 06/09/04 11:21:21
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 CineVegas Film Festival. For more in the 2004 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/07/07 kay why did they cast somone who is closer to 30 than 20 to play a 22 year old?? weird 4 stars
6/29/06 Kimberley Haggard Laugh out loud funny! 5 stars
6/07/06 Justin Hardin Mitzi (indiana) Thimpson was my teacher at middle school 5 stars
7/08/04 Greg Gibson Enjoyed the characters, particularly as played by Egender, Zagaris, and Charlet. 4 stars
6/26/04 Jim McMahon Saw it at CineVegas film festival. Yes lots of laughs, but also deep and thought provoking 5 stars
6/25/04 Sue Lots of fun. Recommeding it to friends. Great cast, especially Buffy Charlet. 5 stars
6/25/04 Ryan Aylward Lots of laughs and a great performance by Joe Egender. Looking forward to his next role. 5 stars
6/25/04 Britney Thought the film was a lot of fun! I can't wait to see more Buffy Charlet!! 5 stars
6/25/04 Jason Was this film made about my life!?! Amazing 5 stars
6/25/04 James Delano Really funny, I'd like to see it again! 4 stars
6/25/04 Vinson Waylon what a great cast, defintely made me smile 4 stars
6/25/04 Tylor Courtland Awesome! Entertaining. Loved the characters 5 stars
6/25/04 Jennifer Gibson It was a wonderful film! Especially enjoyed the lead character played by Joe Egender. 5 stars
6/25/04 Regina Falangie Loved this movie. Who's that Buffy girl? She was AMAZING? 4 stars
6/25/04 Heather LOVED IT 5 stars
6/25/04 Mike I connected to this story on so many levels! 5 stars
6/25/04 Frank Funnier than hell...acting was right on 5 stars
6/16/04 Diana I thought that the writing was good and the actors really brought this work to life. 5 stars
6/16/04 amy If you are in your 30's and you've lived a little this is a great film to watch. 4 stars
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  30-May-2006 (NR)
  DVD: 30-May-2006



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