Twenty years ago today, Generation X saw their lives put up on the big screen in Ben Stiller‘s “Reality Bites,” and two decades later it’s still kinda spot on. Yes, it’s a pretty reductive and obvious distillation of a certain era, but for everyone who lived through those years, for better or worse, there was something identifiable in the too-cool-for-everyone Troy (Ethan Hawke), the struggling Lelaina (Winona Ryder), her best friend Vickie (Janeane Garofalo), the closeted Sammy (Steve Zahn) and the more successful version of all of them, Michael (Ben Stiller).
So, how can you blow out the birthday candles on this one? Well, we’ve collected some material that’ll definitely help you take a trip down memory lane: a vintage interview with Ben Stiller on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” an MTV special about the movie with Winona Ryder, behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot, and ten clips from the flick. And as a quick bonus, we’ve also got Ethan Hawke’s song “I’m Nuthin,” which he wrote for the movie. C’mon, admit it: we all yearned for Troy and Lelaina to get together, worried about Sammy coming out and fretted over Vickie’s STD test.
It’s a moment-in-time movie that has held up better than most and remains a total (non)guilty pleasure rewatch for many of us. So experience the ’90s, generational malaise and much more below. And be sure to check out the oral history of the movie over at HitFix.