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Ghost Canyon

'Suburban Girl'
(Alec Baldwin, Sarah Michelle Gellar, et al / DVD / PG-13 / (2007) 2008 / Image Entertainment)

Overview: Neophyte editor Brett Eisenberg (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is paying her dues in New York's publishing world when she attracts Archie Knox (Alec Baldwin), an aging industry luminary. Soon, their romance is complicated by real-life pressures, including Archie's alcoholism and Brett's dying father.

DVD Verdict: I don't know that I would've picked this movie out at the video store. But since it was picked out for me I watched it. Ambiguous is the word that comes to mind. Gellar as Brett is sweetly stumbling through life, attached to a boy and wanting a man, editing with angst, and completely unable to make a decision. Enter a man (Archie played by Baldwin) who knows what he wants (Brett) how to get it with the usual rich, charming, powerful man ploys but with a sweetness that almost brings Ahhh! moments. But the relationship is standardly Pygmalion and the end result is as expected.

What I liked: I'm a sucker for movies about writers, so two thumbs up there. Good acting and a nice range of opportunities to stretch with illness, tears, joy. Great writing, snappy dialogue. The sexual aspect of the romance is fairly low key and hidden and mentioned very little. Nasty language is refreshingly replaced with creativity.

What I didn't: Baldwin's character is creepy because there always seemed to be an agenda and an air of deception. It almost feels reptilian at times. The fact that he wants to shape Brett is okay but it doesn't always ring true. In a scene where Brett has too much to drink he actually finds her more appealing when she makes a scene. I also found that I didn't really care whether they stayed together or broke up. Brett's family didn't come off as multi-dimensional or dysfunctional as a family of origin so I didn't buy into her childhood issues as much as the script needed me to.

Overall, I think that if you can watch Alec Baldwin without shuddering at his personal life, you like the whole Pygmalion thing, chick-lit and/or Gellar, you might enjoy it. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:

Commentary Track from Director Marc Klein - In which he discusses both his filmmaking and script choices.