Suzanne Ruta
March 15, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

J. Eden

Current Status
In Season
Kit Reed

We gave it an B+

In J. Eden, three upscale New York couples with children move to a run-down farmhouse in deepest New England, but their yuppie utopia is doomed from the start. Self-absorbed boomers and their desperately precocious offspring bare their respective hearts in a tightly plotted series of confessions. The social satire, relying heavily on brand names — everything from Cuisinart to Count Chocula — cuts as deep as a good New Yorker cartoon. When kids raised on junk food get a home-cooked meal, they feel like ”a rerun of The Waltons.” A one-night stand makes a journalist feel like ”Conan the Barbarian.” But Kit Reed hits home with her steady, minute perceptions of the family dynamic. Her heart is with the kids, as terrified of puberty as the fortyish ”groanies” are of middle age. In the end, she makes you feel for them all. B+

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