06/12/2010

Forgotten Gem: The 'Burbs (1989)

Remember when Tom Hanks was really fun? Y'know, before he hooked up with Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg and started giving amazing and award worthy performances? It may be shocking but there was a time when Tom seemed more than happy to play party animals, men with missing shoes, lawyers with annoying wives, piano players and men who love their dogs. Those were good times. But amongst all of Tom's family-friendly comedies, The 'Burbs has been relative forgotten despite a relatively strong cast including Carrie Fisher, Bruce Dern and the Corey who's still alive. Too soon? 


Despite the slapstick humour and silliness, writer Dana Olsen was inspired by his own upbringing in those creepy, white picket fenced suburbs filled with white middle-class people who look down on city dwellers even though they're all probably serial killers underneath their floral dresses and Thomas Pink shirts. Hanks plays an overstressed family man who's driven to the edge by the arrival of some freaky weirdos and proceeds to go batshit crazy. Tom has such a great scream that I'd happily watch him go mental everyday because there's just something so funny about it and his final jump into the back of an ambulance made me laugh until I busted a gut.

It may not be the most sophisticated of comedy but we all need something to erase the memory of that speech from our minds, right?