Is there anything left to parody about suburbia? The surreal, consumerist blandness of American middle-class life has been satirical fodder for years now, dating back to the high-camp ’70s soaper Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. When this sort of thing is done with love (Edward Scissorhands) or gleeful venom (John Waters’ 1981 Polyester), the results can be funny and bracing. But Meet the Applegates is the sort of strenuously plastic isn’t-America-a-really-dumb-place? send-up that tries my patience after about five minutes. Directed by Michael Lehmann (Heathers), it stars that one-note comedian Ed Begley Jr. as the father in a family of giant, mantis-like insects who leave their home in the Amazon disguised as humans and attempt to undermine the destruction of their sacred terrain. (Yes, folks, it’s a save-the-rain-forests movie!) Ensconced in suburbia, they become the Applegates, an unwitting parody of a ”normal” American family, complete with delinquent kids, terrible diets, and Dad fooling around with his secretary at the office. There’s also a special-effects hook: When one of the Applegates gets teed off, he can revert to his original insect self and stun the offending party into unconsciousness, trapping him in a giant cocoon. Soon, the house is filling up with mummified victims. The insect effects aren’t bad, but the movie, which is like Invasion of the Body Snatchers remade as a shrill sitcom, is every bit as synthetic as the clichés it’s savaging. Meet the Applegates plays like one of those Saturday Night Live sketches they reserve for the last 20 minutes of the show — the ones where even the cast members seem bored by what they’re doing.
Meet the Applegates Is there anything left to parody about suburbia? The surreal, consumerist blandness of American middle-class life has been satirical fodder for years...Meet the ApplegatesComedyPT90MR Is there anything left to parody about suburbia? The surreal, consumerist blandness of American middle-class life has been satirical fodder for years...1991-02-15Dabney ColemanCBS/Fox Home Video
Genre: Comedy; Starring: Ed Begley Jr., Stockard Channing, Dabney Coleman; Director: Michael Lehmann; Runtime (in minutes): 90; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: CBS/Fox Home Video
Posted February 15 1991 — 12:00 AM EST
- 'Keith Richards: Under the Influence' doc gets Netflix release date
- Birdman on Lil Wayne: 'He means the world to me'
- Sakina Jaffrey and Ajay Mehta join 'The Mindy Project' as Mr. and Mrs. Lahiri
- On the prowl with the 'Teen Wolf' pack
- Netflix renews 'BoJack Horseman,' sets 'Longmire' premiere
- U2 performs 'Two Hearts Beat As One' for the first time in over 25 years
- The story behind new Dr. Seuss book, 'What Pet Should I Get?'
- Stars go back to work! 'Scandal,' 'Arrow,' 'The Good Wife,' more return to set
- Charlie Hunnam and Excalibur glisten in 'King Arthur' first look photos
- Here are the 2015 games we're looking forward to most
- #50Scoops50Days: Keep up with the latest in fall TV news
- Ashley Madison profiles for TV's most famous adulterers
- Beyoncé, Kanye West, Uma Thurman & More!