Wonderland

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Documentary

Wackos, weirdos, pathetic losers, self-deluded saps and out-and-out loons: Welcome to Levittown, pioneering suburban community. Everybody laughs at Levittown, with its neatly tended lawns and winding rows of identical, low-cost houses. John O'Hagan is no exception: His loosely structured look at the post war Long Island "dream town" (built in 1947 as a...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Wackos, weirdos, pathetic losers, self-deluded saps and out-and-out loons: Welcome to Levittown, pioneering suburban community. Everybody laughs at Levittown, with its neatly tended lawns and winding rows of identical, low-cost houses. John

O'Hagan is no exception: His loosely structured look at the post war Long Island "dream town" (built in 1947 as a canny solution to New York City's housing crisis) invites us to snicker at the nutty obsessions of former residents and Levittown lifers. But smirking at people because they're

(mostly) old and foolish seems a bit cheap and low, especially when they're all so cluelessly good-natured. Sure, the middle-aged lady nattering about the ghost that messes with her knickknacks is a kook. The elderly widower who reminisces at considerable length about his Scotch-swilling parakeet

Beedy (not surprisingly, now deceased) is a bit of a windy old coot. Perpetually smiling Keelin Curnuck (Miss New York 1996) is everything you expect from a vacuous pageant queen, and the older couple fixated on the comings and goings of a dog-walking neighbor are archetypal neighborhood

busybodies. Star power is provided by faded rocker Eddie Money (Two Tickets to Paradise) and Zippy the Pinhead cartoonist Bill Griffith. But a key concept seems to have eluded O'Hagan: Just because someone's a little odd doesn't mean he or she is interesting. The best parts

of his film are the vintage newsreel footage of Levittown under construction and some snippets of home movies bolstering one woman's wistful recollection that when she and her husband moved in, Levittown was a town of young people looking forward to bright futures.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Wackos, weirdos, pathetic losers, self-deluded saps and out-and-out loons: Welcome to Levittown, pioneering suburban community. Everybody laughs at Levittown, with its neatly tended lawns and winding rows of identical, low-cost houses. John O'Hagan is no… (more)

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