15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
They don't make 'em like this anymore!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Pleasantville [VHS]  (VHS Tape)
I expected a lot from 'Pleasantville', with no less than ten excellent comments from newspapers and magazines on its cover, yet I was also somewhat wary. After all, I had watched several movies with high expectations due to Oscars, reviews etc. and been subsequently disappointed. However, on this occasion, I was not.
Pleasantville belongs to an old genre of movies - dazzling in every way. It was original, imaginative, clever, intelligent, funny and witty with stunning visual effects, great costumes and set designs - in fact, overall, it was just brilliant.
The story revolves around two modern-day teenage siblings, played expertly by Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon (who is showing great potential to be more than a teenage star). Whilst the two are fighting over what to watch on the television, they find themselves transported to the world of Maguire's favourite programme - Pleasantville.
Pleasantville, a black and white 50s series, is a world where everything is just, well, pleasant - there has never been any hatred, aggression or tears, any passionate kisses, love or sex, any flat tyres, works of art, red roses or rain. However, this all rapidly changes as Maguire and Witherspoon, in the guise of the two of the show's most popular characters - Bud and Mary-Sue - begin to spread chaos throughout the perfect town.
As they introduce things such as double beds and baths to the show, glorious Technicolor begins to creep into the monochrome world of Pleasantville.
This film is consistently funny, the funniest scenes being where the two teenagers know more than the adults - the scene in which Witherspoon teaches her mother (played excellently by Joan Allen) the facts of life, in particular, sticks in mind.
This film is also very clever and there is a definite play on racism, with signs saying 'NO COLOUREDS' appearing in shop windows, referring to the Technicoloured individuals in Pleasantville, but the term 'coloured' is definitely double-edged here.
The whole cast is superb and it is impossible to pick out an individual from the finely-tuned cast who particularly stands out, although, as usual, the versatile Reese Witherspoon gives a fantastic performance.
The subtle, yet visually stunning and magical special effects do not go amiss and teamed with the marvellous cast, costumes, set and hugely original storyline make this a fabulous movie, which deserved far more recognition than it received.
Pleasantville was brilliant in all aspects. Despite my expectations, my eyes remained glued to the screen for the two-hour duration of the film. This movie is extremely good, clean fun - they certainly don't make 'em like this anymore.