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YMMV: Pleasantville

  • Anvilicious: A frequent complaint is that the movie isn't exactly subtle.
  • Award Snub: Joan Allen won several critics awards for Supporting Actress yet didn't receive an Oscar nomination.
  • Bellisario's Maxim: It's probably best not to think too deeply into the (most likely intentional) plot holes of the Pleasantville (the TV series) universe.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
    • Dave Brubeck's "Take Five", then Miles Davis' "So What" playing as David explains that there is a world outside of Pleasantville.
    • Etta James' "At Last".
    • Buddy Holly's music is used in the movie to good effect.
    • Fiona Apple's cover of Across The Universe was particularly good ending music.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • David is forced to pretend he's Bud Parker. Later on his actor, Tobey Maguire would play another man named Parker — Peter Parker of Spider-Man.
    • Reese Witherspoon's character has a reputation for being a slut, before changing her life around and becoming college bound. One year later she's a student engaged in a battle of wits with another slut.
  • Shallow Parody: Shows like Leave It to Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show were not nearly as gritty and dramatic as a more modern show, but they were hardly the surrealistically-perfect world Pleasantville is. The film more parodies the modern conception of older shows than the actual shows.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: One of the main messages of this movie is that while the world today may be a scary place and things have worsened in some aspects (as exemplified by the class montage in the beginning of the film); one should focus on how many more things improved, instead of wallowing in the "Good 'Ol" past. To quote Roger Ebert's review:
    "Pleasantville is the kind of parable that encourages us to re-evaluate the good old days and take a fresh look at the new world we so easily dismiss as decadent. Yes, we have more problems. But also more solutions, more opportunities and more freedom. I grew up in the '50s. It was a lot more like the world of 'Pleasantville' than you might imagine. Yes, my house had a picket fence, and dinner was always on the table at a quarter to six, but things were wrong that I didn't even know the words for."
  • Strangled by the Red String: Averted. The points of the love triangle muse cheerfully at the end that they don't know what will happen.
  • The Woobie:
    • George after Betty leaves him.
    • Bill. Especially when the B&W Mob destroys his diner and art, leaving him crestfallen.

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