Top 10 Movies Centered On Suburbia

Written by b-team

here are so many suburban-themed movies. We had a hard time paring down our list to 10. Our only rule, apart from liking the pic: Suburbia has to play a meaningful role in the plot. It can’t just be the setting.

Tell us what you think, where we went wrong. Send us your choices. We?ll put together another list, reflecting your feedback.

The 10 Best (in no particular order):

American Beauty. (1990). Beautiful, understated, utterly depressing view of suburban life and marriage. Keven Spacey as unhappy husband, in mid-life crisis, is sick of his tedious job, loveless marriage (to realtor, Annette Benning) tries to turn his life around. He does, along the way fantasizing (and more) about his daughter?s hot sexually precocious under-aged friend; and, in the end, just after figuring things out, learning that redemption in the burbs is awfully hard to come by.

Neighbors. (1981) John Belushi as the normal conventional next-door neighbor. Dan Ackroyd as the wacked freakazoid gun-toting (and shooting), never-leave-you-alone neighbor from hell. (How?s that for role reversal?) Nihilistic, hilarious dark comedy based on Jerzey Kosinki?s novel.

Edward Scissorhands. (1990) Johnny Depp literally with ?scissor hands? cuts and carves bushes all over town into elaborate, beautiful, bizarre art. Most shockingly, and unlike most landscapers we know, he charges nothing!

Little Children. (2006) Based on the Tom Perrotta novel. Suburban ennui, close-mindedness, confusion. Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly?and some non-descript guy (the actor & character) who inexplicably gets both of the babes. Now that?s a real suburban fantasy!

A Nightmare on Elm Street. (1984) Wes Craven?s original and genuine scary suburban horror film. Way better than the drek sequels. Suburban teens are dying off at the hands of Freddy Krueger, an evil, vengeful already dead guy. Tip to teens: falling asleep will probably not result in a good outcome.

The Money Pit. (1986) Tom Hanks, Shelley Long. Funny, underrated slapstick comedy. A cautionary tale, warning to all suburban home owners: Your dream house will turn into a pipe exploding, stairs collapsing, life and finances-ruining nightmare. Otherwise, living in the burbs is a blast.

American Graffiti. (1973) California burbs, 1962. High school teens coming of age before real life (college, work, etc.) intrudes. Music, sex, exciting stirrings of rock & roll. Go Wolfman Jack! Fantastic music sound track. George Lucas? first film — when skilled acting, sensitive story-telling, and subtlety informed his work.

Blue Velvet. (1986) David Lynch?s skewed view of suburbia and life. Not Technicolor day dreams. Brutal, strange, filled with frightening, depraved characters. (Sounds a lot like a recent block party in our neighborhood.)

Ordinary People. (1980) Rich, white Connecticut suburbs. Donald Sutherland, Timothy Hutton. And Mary Tyler Moore as one of the scariest, most repressed, quietly child-abusing (through silence & rejection) stay-at-home moms in movie history.

Happiness. (1998) Todd Solondz?s 2nd film, after Welcome to the Dollhouse. ?Happily? married dad is a shrink; he?s also a pedophile, fantasizes about serial killing, and has a thing for his son?s pre-teen friend. And Dad is one of the healthier characters. Depravity, dysfunction, unhappiness reigns.

19 thoughts on “Top 10 Movies Centered On Suburbia

  1. badGuitarr

    ever heard of a movie called “The Burbs”? Tom Hanks, the funniest movie i have EVER seen. and, obviously, suburbia is a key component in the hilarity. and i agree with the Donnie Darko comment. include it, or consider your house burnt

  2. jess

    what about the chumscrubber??? that was a pretty amazing movie about teennagers in the california burbs that should definitely have been mentioned especially seeing as the picture at the top of this article is a screenshot from it…

  3. Marina

    What about “The Ice Storm”? “The Stepford Wives”? “Metroland”?Another great addition (too recent to make it onto the first list): “Revolutionary Road.”

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