Plot: What’s it about?
Brett Eisenberg (Sarah Michelle Gellar) has left behind the upper class suburbs to take up resident in New York City, but can she adapt to life in the fast lane? She has a job as an associate editor at a powerful publisher, but her life seems to lack direction and she wants to make some bold moves. Brett decides that to make an impact, she will need to take some chances, so she attends a book signing and meets Archie Knox (Alec Baldwin). Knox is a force in the literary world, one with a known preference for younger women, so he takes an instant shine to Brett. Knox showers her with gifts and advice and while a romance blooms, Brett also starts to put that good advice into action. When life throws her some unexpected curves however, can Brett prove she is tough and smart enough, or will she be headed back to the suburbs?
As soon as I found out the plot of Suburban Girl was anchored by a romance between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alec Baldwin, my expectations sank. Gellar is a mediocre performer at best and while Baldwin is highly skillful, the two just seem like an odd pair to hook up. As it turns out, Suburban Girl is a rather lackluster picture, one that shows minor sparks of potential, but never fulfills those sparks. Gellar was a wise choice in terms of her youthful, adorable looks, but she has never been much of an actress and even in this material, she fails to have much presence. Baldwin is solid, but because of Gellar, his performance wanes and the two share no chemistry whatsoever. So as a result, the movie never gets any kind of momentum and the effective moments are brief, leaving us with not such a fun movie. I can only recommend this to diehard fans of Gellar and her looks, as anyone else is likely to be let down by Suburban Girl.
Video: How does it look?
Suburban Girl is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is one of Image Entertainment’s first high definition releases, but no learning curve, as the visuals look more than solid. The film’s low budget is obvious in both the production design and the visual scheme, so don’t expect pristine, razor sharp visuals throughout. I did see a lot of crystal clear moments however, with the kind of depth we’ve come to expect. So this is by no means a mediocre transfer, but the source limits the transfer at times, though not enough to prevent some terrific presence. The colors were bright, contrast is accurate, and the print looks great, but I did notice some noise at times. Even so, this is a fine transfer to help kick off Image’s high definition campaign.
Audio: How does it sound?
A lossless DTS HD 5.1 option is here, but the film’s sound design never makes much use of the high end soundtrack. Even by romantic comedy standards, this mix has very little life, but again, this is due to the movie, not this soundtrack. The music has decent presence, but not as much as expected, while surround use overall is rather bland. There is just not much power or presence to speak of, so expect the front channels to shoulder the burden in this case. The dialogue is clear and crisp however, which is great news. I am glad to see Image use such a high end audio option, but let’s hope future releases can make better use of the format. This disc also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 option, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Marc Klein provides his director’s comments, as he details the trials and tribulations of his first feature film. He talks about why certain decisions were made, budget concerns, and his own experiences as a first time director. Not a great track, but a more than solid one. This disc also includes the film’s trailer.