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Reality Bites: Generation Why Me

Reality Bites: Generation Why Me

As I mentioned recently, its the year of the unofficial remake:

A few weeks ago, we have 17 Again, a watered down version of 1988’s Big.

Last week, we had Obsessed, a watered down version of 1987’s Fatal Attraction.

In a few weeks, we’ll get The Proposal, which essentially turns French Gerard Depardieu into Canadian Sandra Bullock (and Andie MacDowell into Ryan Reynolds), and makes like 1990’s Green Card.

Later this summer, if this trailer is at all suggestive of the film’s content, we’ll get Post-Grad, which looks to me to have essentially the same plot as one of the most beloved films of my tween years, 1994’s Reality Bites. I’ve seen Reality Bites at least 40 times (I’m not kidding), and can truly mouth the words to the entire film. So when I saw the trailer for Post-Grad this morning, it was easy to spot the familiarity.

Not that I’m against Rory Gilmore and Matt Caracen uniting as one, or Jane Lynch doing absolutely anything, but:

Film seems to begin with girl (Winona Ryder/Alexis Bledel) graduating from college with a group of friends, including a platonic best friend who plays music and secretly wants her (Ethan Hawke/Zach Gilford)… Girl has trouble finding job, going on series of failed interviews that results in awkwardly being put on the spot (“define irony”/”like what?”). Girl resists getting help from eccentric family (Swoozie Kurtz and two actors I forget/Michael Keaton, Carol Burnett & Jane Lynch), and at one point is forced to consider retail (The Gap/baggage store). Girl meets older man that seems successful (Ben Stiller/Rodrigo Santoro), but in the end (and this is just guesswork), realizes she belongs with platonic best friend who plays music and secretly wants her.

It makes sense. Reality bites all over again for recessionized twentysomethings who came out of college recently under the impression they could have whatever job they wanted and are now flipping burgers at Wendy’s (I’m grateful everyday I’m somewhat of an exception to this trend, though I am technically homeless so it’s not totally ideal)… But I have a feeling “Post-Grad,” like “17 Again,” “Obsessed” and – let’s assume – “The Proposal” before it, will just end up taking the watered down approach. There’ll be no diner booth conversation about imagining death from AIDS via a Melrose Place fantasy, no in-store “My Sharona” dance-a-long, and no “Pah-flag, I’m beginning to like the sound of that”…

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