The concept of the perfect family' emerged largely after the baby boom when women were forced back into their old ways of domestication and the birth of suburbia. Pleasantville is the perfect title for the suburb portrayed in the movie. This is a community with no problems. The women keep the house neat and have dinner on the table every night for when their husbands come home from work and chant the infamous Honey, I'm home!' The children, which every family has, do well in school and maintain the perfect balance between social time and family time. The movie focuses on the family of the Parkers. Mom Betty and dad George have the ideal son and daughter, Bud and Mary Sue Parker.
The movie begins in the 1990s, displaying a rather dysfunctional family, the Wagners. Jennifer Wagner, played by Reese Witherspoon, was a troubled teen who liked to experiment with sex and popularity. David Wagner, Jennifer's brother, played by Toby McGuire, is picked on in high school and also has an unusual obsession with reruns of a show from the 1950s called Pleasantville'. The siblings lived with their divorced single mother working to support two children and dating someone nine years younger than herself. Somehow, during a fight over the remote control, Jennifer and David get teleported into the Pleasantville world where they assume the roles of Peggy Sue and Bud Parker.
The world of Pleasantville is set in black and white in the 50s. The Parkers live in a suburban neighborhood, complete with their own soda shop run by Mr. Bill Johnson, played by Jeff Daniels. A key to the film is when Mary Sue or Bug help the characters of Pleasantville realize something about themselves they had not seen before, they or something they see turns from black and white to color. The color symbolizes thinking outside the box' and many of the movements that came following that decade, especially women's empowerment.
The first instances of color occur from sexual experiences, something that had been unknown the town of Pleasantville, where married couples slept on separate twin beds and boyfriends and girlfriends held hands, once they had been steady for a while. Mary Sue first introduces her boyfriend, Skip Martin played by Paul Walker, to his first sexual experience. While driving home, he sees a rose in a bush that is "real red". After this occurrence, Skip tells his teammates on the basketball team of his experiences, after which they all...