SubUrbia | Chicago Reader

SubUrbia

Richard Linklater, adhering to the 24-hour frame of his first three features (Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise), directs a fine 1996 adaptation of Eric Bogosian's tragicomic play about the frustrated lives of several 20-year-old suburbanites. They spend their time mainly in parking lots and are pushed to a crisis point when an old friend who's made it big as a rock star (Jayce Bartok) stops by for a visit—material that's conventional to the point of being generic, even in its surprises, and that remains obstinately stage bound. Nevertheless, the cast of mainly unknowns is so good, and Linklater is so adept at playing them off one another, that the two-hour running time never seems overextended. With Giovanni Ribisi (especially impressive), Steve Zahn (That Thing You Do!), Amie Carey, Nicky Katt, Ajay Naidu, Samia Shoaib, and the ubiquitous Parker Posey.

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