This insightful drama was unfairly overlooked at the theaters (it only played for 7 days in Boulder). Linklater again takes what seems like standard material and breathes life, angst, and importance to it. Suburbia, based on a stage play, is set mostly outside a convenience store. A group of “Slackers” hangs out, getting drunk and talking about moving up and out of Burnfield, TX. (The opening sequence of Burnfield looks like one of Crumb’s drawings, with lightpoles and power converters clogging the otherwise beautiful sky. Fenced-in backyards imprison suburban dwellers.) When their old classmate (who actually has left town and made it big) shows up, like alcohol, he brings out the hopes or fears, whichever is stronger, of each character.
This movie could have been a four-star movie, but in a place or two, the movie turns in a direction that the characters didn’t drive it to. The movie got in the way of the characters. And as with other Linklater films (Slackers, Dazed & Confused, Before Sunrise), the characters are what’s important.