"Pleasantville"
Review written by: Alex Sandell

What's the story?

Two high school students, one a self-proclaimed slut (Reese Witherspoon) and another a television-addicted nerd (Tobey Maguire) are sent into a clean-cut 1950's sitcom by Don Knotts (playing a television repairman), and his miraculous remote-control. Once in the past, the two begin to add color to the once "perfect" universe which was considered to be forever black-and-white.

So how is it? (Get to the point, already)

This is a "It's a Wonderful Life" for the nineties. Many films during this decade have claimed that title as their own, but this is really the first movie to actually pull it off.

A life-affirming film that throws itself into fairy-tale territory only to tell you that there is no such thing as a fairy-tale. There is only life as it is, and if you accept that, it may be the only "fairy-tale" that you'll ever need.

Sure, it may be a bit sugar-coated (what do you expect when the screenwriter/director used to write speeches for President Clinton?) and drawn out toward the end, but this is still premium sweetener. With a more-than-adequate cast and visual effects so convincing you'll never look at a rose the same way again, you feel you were sent to "Pleasantville", yourself.

When the film asks us to embrace one-another's differences, rather than condemn them, it turns into more than simple escapism. It becomes a timely picture that asks us to reach inside of ourselves and squelch the hatred which breeds there.

What does it make you feel like eating?

Red meat. Lots of it.

What are you selling us here???

From what I saw, excluding the soundtrack, there were no product placements in this film.

If it won an Oscar, what would it be?

"Best Picture" - "Pleasantville"

On a scale of 1-10?

9

Agree? Disagree? Email me at alex@juicycerebellum.com

Text (Copyright) 1998 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, or even copy the "juicy" format, we'll be in court longer than Bill Clinton!

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