Staff rating

Pleasantville Star_onStar_onStar_onStar_on 3.0 4.0 from 1 reviews
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Nerdy David (Maguire) and his slut wanna-be sister Jennifer (Witherspoon) are sucked into the sterile and innocent world of Pleasantville, a 1950s B/W TV show in constant reruns, where they find themselves in the roles of Bud and Mary Sue, the blandly adorable children of George and Betty Parker (Macy and Allen). After Jennifer shows a classmate what lovers' lane is really for, the townspeople begin to lose their innocence; the black-and-white world becomes more colorful as each new human passion is realized. The performances are dead-on, particularly Allen as the sexually awakening mom. The transition from straight comedy to social commentary is adeptly handled. The great character actor J. T. Walsh gives his usual excellent (and sadly, last) performance as the stubborn head of the chamber of commerce bitterly fighting change.

Warner Home Video, Inc., 5775 Linder Canyon Rd., Westlake Village, CA 91362, URL:, Remarks: Does not handle retail queries from consumers; contact your local video distributor.

Available on Running time 124 minutes.

Cast and Crew

Look Ma! I'm on TV!, Fantasy, Basketball, Time Warped, Bowling, Brothers & Sisters, Mass Media
Gary Ross
Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, William H. Macy, Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels, J.T. Walsh, Don Knotts, Paul Walker, Jane Kaczmarek, Marley Shelton
John Lindley
Gary Ross
Randy Newman
Larger Than Life, New Line Cinema


L.A. Film Critics 1998: Support. Actress (Allen); Broadcast Film Critics 1998: Support. Actress (Allen).

Visitor Reviews

Star_onStar_onStar_onStar_on 3.0 4.0

I like this movie. It's different than most movies out there. David, single, lonely and not happy with his life, flees reality by watching Pleasantville - a 1950's b&w soap opera, where everything is just that... pleasant. His sister Jennifer, sexually far more active than her brother, gets in a fight with him about a very strange remote control. The remote was given to them just seconds after the TV broke, by an equally strange repair man. They suddenly find themselves in Pleasantville, as Bud and Mary-Sue Parker, completely assimilated and therefore black and white, in clothes a little different and with new parents... pleasant ones. David wants to get out of the situation as well as his sister, but whereas he tries to blend in (effortlessly, with his knowledge), she does whatever she wants to do. One event leads to the other, and suddenly there is a red rose growing in Pleasantville. The more rules are broken, the more colorful life gets.