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Cherry Pop

'The Suburbans' [2017]
(Jennifer Love Hewitt, Will Ferrell, Donal Lardner Ward, Tony Guma, Craig Bierko, et al / DVD / R / (1999) 2017 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: There goes the neighborhood when The Suburbans, the height of cool back in the day, are rediscovered by an overly eager fan turned high-powered music executive (Jennifer Love Hewitt) determined to stage the comeback of her favorite eighties band!

DVD Verdict: Even fans of bad movies will have a tough time with "The Suburbans". Part comedy, part drama and all misfire! In 1981 the band of the title scores its one and only hit, and in 1999 the members are talked into performing at a wedding for a fan in the Navy. A representative for entertainment company EVI later approaches them about making a comeback ... the rest is "history", as they say!

Co-writer/director/co-star Donal Gardner Ward's movie positions the group as one-hit wonders who most people don't really want back, but the group itself is more problematic than intended; if their song had been either good (like the Wonders' "That Thing You Do" from the movie of the same name) or at least a believable 1980s pastiche, their status as one-hit wonders from the Neon Decade would have been plausible.

Unfortunately neither is the case, particularly the latter - as well as being a limp rock track, it sounds way too 1990s to be passable. This proves to have a knock-on effect on the movie; the person who brings them to EVI turns out to have had an obsession with one of the Suburbans since she was seven. The trouble is, she's played by Jennifer Love Hewitt - who looks as if she was barely out of Pampers in the early '80s (and she was, since she was born in 1979). Anyway, she plays Cate, a record company executive who comes up with the idea to revive the one hit wonder pop group from the '80s.

The band members are universally uninteresting (although some genuine comedy begins to manifest in the later stages with the guys as the big resurrection mania fails to live up to the hype and a couple of the guys start making the same kind of bad decisions they made the first time around), the music's boring, and it's impossible to see what the point of it all is! Oh, and it also looks like a home movie, for some strange reason.

It's almost never funny, it's never dramatic, and the appearance of A Flock Of Seagulls at the end (which is doubly nice for me, as lead singer Mike Score is a mate of mine in real life) marks the only true taste of/nostalgia for the 1980s in the entire movie!

The appearances of Robert Loggia as the father of the bride, Antonio "Huggy Bear" Fargas as a club owner, Ben Stiller and Jerry Stiller as EVI bosses, J.J. Abrams (creator of "Felicity" and "Alias") as a journalist, and JLH (whose display to Amy Brenneman in the kitchen is, to be honest, the high point of the movie!) liven things up, but not enough to raise the movies interest levels, sorry. Re-Released by Mill Creek Entertainment, this is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'The Suburbans' Trailer