In Praise of Suburbia – From Guest Blogger Liz Emrich

The Street Hustle

Although I’m not sure dreary, humorless suburbia should be praised, if my pal Liz Emrich and Dreamwork’s can find poetry and comedy in neatly manicured lawns and SUV’s, it might be worth a second look.


With my newly minted “Walkscore” of 52, I am pondering the wonders of suburbia today, which of course, brings to mind one of my favorite movies, the modern animated classic, “Over the Hedge.”

If you thought it was just a kids movie, you are wrong.  It’s actually a pretty astute critique of the McMansion subdivision wrapped up in an extremely funny package, complete with a soundtrack consisting of tunes from the inimitable indie rock guy, Ben Folds.

The hyperkinetic Hammy the Squirrel, zinging around asking if someone can help him “find his nuts,” voiced by the amazing Steve Carrell, is enough on his own to make this movie.  But add in an overdramatic William Shatner playing an overdramatic possum, and Wanda Sykes playing a belligerent lady skunk, and you have laughs for days.  Allison Janney’s bossy, clueless president of the dreaded homeowners’ association is the icing on the cake.

The finale, which involves feeding the frenetic Hammy mass quantities of caffeine (I am not spoiling anything here, you can see this coming a mile away and the context is what makes it anyway) is nothing short of brilliant.

Yeah, I know, it’s a cartoon.  But if Dreamworks keeps making cartoons like this, Disney/Pixar will very quickly find its lunch eaten.

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