I know I’ve already done a very special movie this month, but The ‘Burbs is on Netflix and I just love it. If you haven’t seen this movie then go check it out now. Tom Hanks plays a burnt-out suburbanite staycationer whose neighbor manages to convince him that the new family on the cul-de-sac are murderers. Much to the chagrin of Tom’s wife (in this case, Carrie Fisher) he and a few of the guys from the neighborhood (Bruce Dern and Rick Ducommun) decide to conduct their own guerrilla-style investigation of the new family and their creepy basement.
You’re probably thinking, this does not sound like a very special movie. You’re probably thinking, “she’s just trying to make this into a very special movie to justify watching and posting about a movie that has nothing to do with anything very special at all.”
Wrong. (Well, maybe right.) But I am going to prove to you that this is a very special movie packed with very special lessons as evidenced below:
Very Special Lesson Number One: Beware the vacation. If your job is already driving you nuts, then you need to be extra careful about how you spend your downtime. Rest and relaxation are wonderful things, but if you’re already on edge then you might use all of that unstructured time to start stalking your neighbors because you think they are running a crematorium in their basement.
Very Special Lesson Number Two: On the off chance that your neighbors actually are serial murders and running a crematorium in their basement, it is very important to be able to rely on you fellow non-psychotic suburbanites. We all need someone we can count on to run a military-grade amateur investigation in the middle of the night. We all need a friend to help us frantically search through the garbage truck for evidence. That’s what being a good neighbor means.
Very Special Lesson Number Three: Don’t do heroin. Okay, this is maybe a bit of a meta-example here, but Corey Feldman is just great in this movie. And the best part is that he’s very good at being a supporting character without being in a kids/teen movie. This could have been a great transitional moment here from child actor to regular actor. Sure, the producers probably stuck him in here to draw in a younger audience, but he really holds his own.
Very Special Lesson Number Four: Don’t doubt your friends (with whom you have just guerilla-style investigated the neighbors’ basement crematorium). Okay, so maybe it looks like you just destroyed an innocent person’s home, but they did have a 5,000 degree oven in their basement, and your dog did find a femur under their fence. I understand that we all get a little stressed out, especially if we’ve got cops surrounding our home and that old man we thought was dead has just returned home from the hospital, but that is still no reason to lash out at your best friend.
Very Special Lesson Number Five: If your significant other has just accidentally blown up the creepy neighbor’s home and nearly killed himself in the process, try to be as understanding as possible.