The Suburbans

Director:Donal Lardner Ward
Writers:Donal Lardner Ward and Tony Guma
TriStar Pictures; unrated; 90 minutes
Cast:Amy Brenneman, Donal Lardner Ward, Tony Guma, Craig Bierko, Will Ferrell

It's risky to make a romantic comedy where the major players are washed-up shells of their former rock-star selves. This Is Spinal Tap nailed the formula just right, but this year's The Suburbans fumbles it.

The Suburbans, a one-hit-wonder band from the early '80s, is spotted by an A&R agent convinced she can resuscitate their stardom. Problem is, nearly two decades later the members (Donal Ward, Craig Bierko, Will Ferrell, and Tony Guma) are now struggling with relationships and the ordinariness of their lives. The movie works best when targeting the record industry. Ben and Jerry Stiller give hilarious performances as scrambling record executives, and a few of the comedy moments live up to their cameos, but overall The Suburbans is as entertaining as the New Wave revival band it's named after.

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