Meet the Applegates

After a summit of Brazilian cockroaches concludes that the rainforest is being trashed by American insatiability, a batch of hissy militants head north, disguised as a typical Midwestern family. Their mission: infiltrate a nuclear power plant and blow it up, making the world safe for radiation-proof roaches. Dick (Ed Begley Jr.) and Jane (Stockard Channing) Applegate and their two kids, Sally and Bobby, settle into Median, Ohio, where they soon succumb to the dangers of suburbia: gross consumerism, fleshy pleasures, even roaches of the pharmacological kind. Director of the hyper-comic Heathers, Michael Lehmann knows there's nothing repellent about his radical roaches. Whether they're sipping grasshoppers, listening to heavy metal, or getting aroused by an entomology magazine, the Applegates are snug as a bug in a rug. But the cautionary is in the comfort. Even these hard-shelled pests lose their revolutionary zeal. Suburbia is like a Roach Motel-you can check in, but you can't check out.

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