25 reasons why we still love Beetlejuice

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Screenshot of official Beetlejuice trailer on warnerbros.com.

18. The Jokes about Urban vs. Rural Life

Along with clashing over values and interior design, the class and urban/rural differences between the Deetzes and the Maitlands add a lot of humor to Beetlejuice.

“I can’t believe we’re eating Cantonese,” Delia Deetz says at the dinner table, still bitter at their move to the small New England hamlet. “Is there no Szechuan up here?”

Later, when the Maitlands hide in sheets hoping to scare this weird new urban family away, Charles simply thinks one of them is his daughter, running out of things to do in their new home. “Geez, Lydia, is Connecticut so boring?” he asks.

Like a lot of films released within the past few decades, the New York Deetzes are seen as more villainous than the small town, wholesome Maitlands: too urban, too greedy, too ambitious, too fixated on ugly art. The film is designed to make us root for Adam and Barbara with their humble home and dreams.

However, small town life isn’t spared from the comedy in Beetlejuice. A relative of the Maitlands, Jane (Annie McEnroe) is a yellow cardigan-wearing, friendly but meddling neighborhood real estate agent. At the beginning of the film, when the Maitlands are still alive, she pressures Barbara to sell the home, thoughtlessly saying it’s so large it’s more suitable for a family—which stings Barbara, since they’ve been unable to conceive.