Suburban Swag: 6 movies that rocked the burbs

Quiet streets, manicured lawns, families living mundane lives. That’s the clichéd picture of the suburbs. But the ‘burbs should never be underestimated.
As the following 6 movies assert, behind those picket fences and conservative smiles, there are some seriously subversive goings-on...

Game Night

Game Night thumbnail

Forget Scene It?, Spoons and Celebrity Head for a fun games night at your mate’s house. In this cracking black comedy starring Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses) and Rachel McAdams (About Time), a bunch of friends cut loose from their regular game night scenario and go for a murder mystery, complete with pretend thugs and fake federal agents. Brooks (Kyle Chandler – Wolf of Wall Street) is all for authenticity, so when masked intruders burst into the house and he is kidnapped, the friends think it’s just part of the game! But when they set out to solve the case, they discover that neither Brooks nor the game are quite what they appear to be....

Bad Neighbours

Bad Neighboura
Source: [Good Universe]

When a university fraternity moves next door, new parents Mac and Kelly (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne), discover suburban life isn’t dull at all: it’s one big pumping party. Which would be fine if Mac and Kelly were sophomores and didn’t have a baby to put to sleep every night. So they do what suburban people must and call the cops. BIG MISTAKE. The frat boys are none too happy, so they pull some hard-core, hilarious frat boy pranks on their neighbours. Mac and Kelly respond - and full-scale war erupts. Zac Efron is quite the piece of work in this film. Look out for his fabulous, alternative use for car airbags.

The House

The House

Lesson #1. Always be wary of those neighbours who look “normal”. They are hiding something either in their garage or their basement. In The House, it’s a casino complete with fight nights and strippers. Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler are regular parents who discover they can’t pay for their daughter’s college tuition, so they go all badass and start running their own underworld money-making enterprise. Subverting the suburbs seems to be a fascination for the writing team behind The House. They are also responsible for penning Bad Neighbours.

Bad Moms

Bad Moms

Don’t be fooled by mums happily pushing strollers or smiling sweetly at the school drop-off. Underneath is a seething stream of resentment and frustration just waiting to explode. For mother of two, Amy Mitchell (Mila Kunis), that day has come. Sick of balancing a demanding job with her kids’ homework, extra-curricular activities and a husband who won’t pull his weight, Amy ditches the unattainable “perfect mom” image and embraces the “bad mom” reality. And the kids love it! They’re getting nachos for breakfast, fast food for lunch and on the way to school Mum’s doing burn outs in Dad’s prized Mustang. Then there’s Amy’s version of school PTA meetings: have them at home, serve shots, pump up the music and let the party begin!

American Beauty

American Beauty
Source: [DreamWorks]

They live in a sterile suburb that houses a lot of dirt just below the surface. The Burnhams appear to be a poster family for the American dream when in fact their lives are teetering on the edge of a sad abyss. American Beauty won 5 Academy Awards for its dark and witty satire on middle class expectation and fulfillment. Kevin Spacey nabbed his first Oscar in the Best Actor category for his stunning betrayal of Lester Burnham, a man neck-deep in a mid-life crisis. The make-up team should also have been honoured for their efforts with Annette Bening’s sculptured and sprayed hair, which perfectly captured the materialistic, superficial and phony pretense of American suburban life.

Date Night

Date Night
Source: [Twentieth Century Fox]

Phil and Claire Foster head off on a date night to rescue their dreary marriage from the same fate as their newly separated friends. With no booking at a swanky restaurant, the date looks like a disaster...until they steal the reservation of a no-show couple who, they soon discover, are wanted by the mob. Suddenly they find themselves shooting guns and performing in a strip club. Tina Fey and Steve Carrell’s comedic chemistry is gold and propels this movie from dull suburbia to big city fun.

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