Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jayce Bartok, Amie Carey, Nicky Katt, Ajay Naidu, Parker Posey, Giovanni Ribisi, Samia Shoaib, Dina Spybey, Steve Zahn
Written by: Eric Bogosian, based on his play
Directed by: Richard Linklater
MPAA Rating: R for strong language including sex and drug references, teen drinking and brief nudity
Running Time: 120
Date: 02/07/1997

SubUrbia (1996)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Surliest Convenience

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Based on a play by Eric Bogosian, Richard Linklater's SubUrbia (1996) follows in a straight line from Linklater's own Slacker and Kevin Smith's Clerks, but its wiry, pent-up seriousness makes it a little less fun that its predecessors, yet no less thought-provoking. Four friends — Jeff (Giovanni Ribisi), his girlfriend Sooze (Amie Carey), ex-Air Force Tim (Nicky Katt), and wannabe filmmaker Buff (Steve Zahn) — regularly hang out near a convenience store and drink. Tonight they are waiting to see their old friend, Pony (Jayce Bartok), who left town and became a rock star. Of course, this brings up a combination of excitement and jealousy, muddled by the fact that Pony's publicist Erica (Parker Posey) tags along, as does Sooze's friend, ex-alcoholic Bee-Bee (Dina Spybey). Like most movies based on plays, this one is talky, but Linklater's loose, organic flow keeps things feeling cinematic.

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