Top 1990s Movies That Explore Suburban America
More than half of all Americans live in the suburbs, so it's no wonder that suburbia is a subject of much fascination for people all across the country. The examination of suburban life has been explored in art, music, and films. Perhaps movies have done the best job of representing what the suburban experience is truly like. If you want to see the best representations of suburban life in 1990s movies, check out one (or all) of these fantastic movies.
The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Sofia Coppola makes a memorable directorial debut in The Virgin Suicides. It tells the story of five mysterious sisters from the point-of-view of neighborhood boys who have a fascination with them. The Lisbon sisters – Lux, Theresa, Mary, Bonnie, and Cecilia – ultimately descend into self-destruction. The beautiful young girls hold some secrets that the boys seek to understand, or do they? The movie unfolds at just the right pace, and it leaves viewers with questions in a very satisfying way.
John O'Hagan has an impressive directorial debut with Wonderland, a documentary that reveals the interesting underbelly of the real-life suburban town of Levittown, which is located on Long Island in New York. It was praised by such publications as "The Chicago Tribune" and "The New York Post." It's a comedic film that look at such aspects of Levittown as beauty queens and the haunting of homes. It reveals all the talent of John O'Hagan to capture comedic gold in a documentary format, a feat that is rarely accomplished among directors.
American Beauty (1999)
This narrative film that's directed by Sam Mendes tells the story of Lester Burnham, a middle-aged man who has had enough of his seemingly empty existence. He wakes up to all the wonders that life can hold when, unbeknownst to his character, he only has a year to live. Lester lives in a suburban world that the viewer sees little by little. In American Beauty, every character has depth and an ocean of secrets, and just when you think someone may be a stereotype, they surprise you. Suburban America has a lot more depth than city dwellers sometimes give it credit for, and that is clear with all the interesting characters in this unforgettable film.
Finally, keep in mind that these movies all shed different lights on the plight of residents of suburban America. They show both the wonder and joy that come from living there, and they also reveal some of the hidden heartaches and pain that can be encountered as a part of the lifestyle. One thing that's undeniable is that these movies are very relatable for anyone who has spent any significant time in a suburb, and you will be nodding in agreement and laughing at different points in each of these films.