Reality Bites

Winona Rider (Lelaina Pierce) and Ethan Hawke (Troy Dyer) generate a lot of chemistry in Reality Bites, and that's the saving grace of the film. The movie calls itself a "comedy of love in the 90s". I don't think it was that funny, or that realistic, but it was a good clean movie to watch and had some pretty good acting. It has a lot of good music, and the classical references in the movie are pretty interesting.

The basic plot is about these struggling recently-graduated people trying to find jobs and dealing with the "real world" (one wonders why they'd want to, given that they could be in college forever). As John, my mentor, remarked, this (finding jobs) somehow seems to a obsession among undergraduates these days. The statistics aren't clear, but is it really true that one, who is reasonably successful (by this I mean someone who also manages to avoid being "average"), will find it difficult to get a job? It is definitely true an undergraduate degree doesn't hold much value these days, but that's because, in one sense or another, standards have declined and therefore it is a lot easier to graduate without much effort. This might sound unfair, but there are a lot of majors which make graduation all the more easier. A college degree no longer matters---what it is in matters a bit. In any case, a college degree is not a prerequisite for being "good" in an area. This is clearly evidenced by the fact that certain people, say people with experience in writing software and in systems OUTSIDE of classes, find it easier to get jobs than people who haven't spent enough time exploring what they intend to do the rest of their lives. This means you should obtain internships to show you can cut it. But I digress...

Lelaina is the college valedictorian who's making a movie about her friends as they deal, having no role models, with reality. Troy is an intellectual, but a slacker and thus gets nowhere in life. Then there's Michael Grates (Ben Stiller), who's a non-intellectual yuppie who vies with Troy for Lelaina. Lelaina's roommate, Vicki Miner (Janeane Garofalo), who works at a GAP and sleeps with 66 (yes, she records each person's name in her diary) boys before she gets tested for AIDS. All these characters together form a modern-day soap opera. From one perspective, it diplays the confused interrelationship-etiquette seen in today's society. It also displays these young people struggling to fight against the commercialisation that "reality" brings upon them. Unfortunately, the movie becomes a bit of a self-parody in that regard given its gross commercial placements, and it never goes beyond the level of a soap-opera. Worth renting.

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala ||