Suburban Girl is a 2007 comedy film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alec Baldwin and Maggie Grace, which was filmed in New York City. The film is adapted from two short stories in Melissa Bank's best-selling book The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, which spent 16 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list.
It is a romantic comedy produced by Gigi Pritzker and Deborah Del Prete, producers of The Wedding Planner and Green Street Hooligans. The film was shown at New York's Tribeca Film Festival in April and May, 2007. The DVD and Blu-ray release date was January 15, 2008.
For many months, the makers of Suburban Girl used the title of the book, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing for their film. Francis Ford Coppola (who has the rights to the title and short story of that name) and his company American Zoetrope are developing a film which is adapted from the last short story in the book.
Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as Brett Eisenberg, an ambitious yet unconfident middle aged woman New York City assistant book editor living in the literary hotbed of Manhattan's Upper East Side. Struggling to become a full-fledged editor, a task made harder after her mentor and boss is fired and replaced by Faye Falkner (Vanessa Branch), Brett meets the notorious and much older publishing playboy Archie Knox (Alec Baldwin). After spending time with him she realises how unhappy she is with her immature boyfriend Jed (Chris Carmack) and breaks off their relationship in order to pursue one with Archie.
Archie is revealed to have several issues such as being an alcoholic, although he is almost three years sober; suffering from diabetes; and having an estranged daughter. The age-gap between Brett and him is made clear through their different lifestyles, such as his lack of understanding how to use a Blackberry and Brett taking him to a candy shop. Although this does not affect their relationship in the beginning—Brett appreciates the advice and confidence he gives her to stand up to her boss—she soon begins to resent his patronizing attitude. He eventually begins drinking again and sleeps with another woman in order to break off their relationship.
At the same time, Brett is shown to be incredibly close to her father; she is seen constantly explaining her situation and asking for his advice. While visiting her family home she is shocked to discover that he has cancer and that she was the last to know behind her brother Ethan (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), because her father felt she could not handle the news. Feeling depressed and unwell, Brett makes an awful impression on a celebrity client until Archie appears and rescues the situation. They decide to give their relationship another try and Brett introduces him to her family, who are uneasy with the age difference; her father especially after learning that Archie is an alcoholic when he is admitted to hospital. Brett's father tells her that she shouldn't have to spend her life taking care of Archie.
Later, it is revealed that her father has died and Brett realizes she must finally deal with her problems without his support. Following this, Archie proposes using the Blackberry Brett bought him but she turns him down, telling him that they see each other as teacher and student and not as equals. She says she needs time to be happy and grow up on her own.
The end of the film finds Brett finally confident in herself as she finally wears a pair of leather pants she was previously too scared to wear, and editing her work in a decisive way by using a pen instead of a pencil, as is seen throughout the film.
After being cast in the main role, Sarah Michelle Gellar requested Alec Baldwin for the role of Archie, which he accepted.Sarah Michelle Gellar as Brett Eisenberg
Alec Baldwin as Archie Knox
Maggie Grace as Chloe
Vanessa Branch as Faye Faulkner
James Naughton as Robert Eisenberg
Peter Scolari as Mickey Lamm
Chris Carmack as Jed Hanson
Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ethan Eisenberg
Jill Eikenberry as Marlene Eisenberg
Marian Seldes as Margaret Paddleford
Marin Ireland as Katie
Amad Jackson as Seaver
The film was filmed in various locations around New York as well as Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
After initially working under A Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, the film's title was officially changed to Suburban Girl for its release.
The film received generally mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 50%, based on 8 reviews, with an average rating of 6.1/10. It was described as "a blend of Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada" and a "pseudo-sophisticated romantic comedy" according to Variety.com, while Pop Entertainment describes the film as "an intelligent romantic comedy that probably deserves a bigger audience than the straight-to-DVD tag will likely afford it... what is good about Suburban Girl for the most part outpaces its bad patches."
Gellar's onscreen chemistry with Baldwin was praised, with Eye for Film commenting, "The film works best when Baldwin and Gellar are together - aside from the fact that Gellar seriously needs to eat a bun or two." Film website moviepicturefilm.com stated "Gellar and Baldwin both give wonderful performances and make their chemistry incredibly real and ultimately, quite heartbreaking. Containing a ton of laughs and killer fashion that could give The Devil Wears Prada a run for its money, this movie has something uncommon in most romantic comedies, tons of style and a huge heart."
No official soundtrack was released but tracks within the film include;"Love Song" - written and performed by Sara Bareilles
"Smokin' Some Blues" - written and performed by Terance Jay
"Silent Night" - written by Josef Mohr, performed by Terrance Jay
"Start Being Nicer" - written by Ken Steen, performed by Torpedo Boys
"Charm Attack" - written and performed by Leona Naess
"Come to the Party" - written and performed by Sam Winch
"Space Age Love Song" - written by Francis Maudsle et al., performed by Abra Moore
"Having a Party" - written by Malissa Hunter and Billy J Stein, performed by Malissa Hunter
"Funny Kind of Love" - written by Christopher Alan Livingston and Frank D Piazza, performed by Audio Paint
"Your Love Beside Me" - written by Ray Greene et al., performed by Ray Greene
"More Luck" - written by Ray Greene et al., performed by Ray Greene
"Cause a Rockslide" - written by Damon Gough, performed by Badly Drawn Boy
"Tokyo Boys" - written by Mladen Borosak and Tammy Plynn, performed by Running Red Lights
"Concert Source" - written and performed by Drew Perrante
"Speeding Cars" - written and performed by Imogen Heap
"She Painted Pictures" written by Liam Pickering, performed by Liam Frost
"Slipping Under(Sing Along to Your Favorite Song)" written and performed by William Tell
"Cold Hearts" written by Johan Andergard, performed by Club 8
"No Fear" - written and performed by Melissa Tallon