What are the main existential themes in the 1998 film Pleasantville?

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Director Gary Ross's 1998 film Pleasantville tells the story of two teenagers transported back in time to the 1950s, when television comedies portrayed the average American family in an almost surrealistically idealistic light. Anybody familiar with such programs as The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best, and Leave It to Beaver has viewed these depictions of American middle-class existence through a particular prism in which fathers are all-knowing, mothers dutifully perform housework while adorned in their finery, and the social problems afflicting many real-life families are nonexistent. Pleasantville , then, subverts these conventions through the sudden introduction into that era of two modern (circa the late 1990s) teenagers. While one of the teenagers, Jennifer, can be considered the quintessential modern teen, her brother, David, is actually a little more unconventional, obsessed as he is with the world depicted in the 1950s television program with which he has become...

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