Reality Bites (1994, Ben Stiller)
What IMDB says:
A documentary filmmaker and her fellow Gen X graduates face life after college, looking for work and love in Houston.
Here is a bonus movie!! I watched all of the back to school movies, and thought I would add some other school-related or fall movies.
The first, of who knows how many, is Reality bites! Sooooooo 90’s! I haven’t watched this movie in forever!! It stars Winona Ryder, (be still my 90’s heart), and Ethan Hawke, (hubba hubba), who are in a confusing relationship. They have slept together, but are just friends, but the sexual tension is palpable. Very similar to those droids in Star Wars.
It is funny because kids these days, (I sound like a grandma, nope, just a cat-mom), are obsessed with the 90’s, which I grew up in, like born in the 80’s and was a teenager in the 90’s. I remember being obsessed with the 70’s when I was growing up, and my dad thought it was funny that I would raid mom’s closet, steal her bell bottoms, and listen to ‘Fleetwood Mac’. This movie is giving me some major nostalgia!
Okay, let’s talk about this…Winona Ryder. She is hot again because of the awesome Netflix series, ‘Stranger Things’, which btw, she was excellent in, but she had fallen off the radar after her shoplifting mishaps. The mishap being that she got caught, I guess. But, Winona was the 90’s! Edward Scizzorhands, Heathers, Beetlejuice, Girl Interrupted, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mermaids, and Little Women, are all great movies, I know, some were made in the late 80’s, but still! She has been in some of my all-time favourite movies. She definitely had a problem, but haven’t we all? I am ready to forgive and forget.
The bad: Ethan Hawke, who plays Troy, a pseudo-intellectual, college drop-out, who was mere credits away from having a philosophy degree. Okay, he sleeps with numerous chicks who probably obsess over him because he was the quintessential 90’s heartthrob. He had shaggy, greasy hair, and a wardrobe full of unwashed button-down shirts. What every 90’s girls wanted!
The good: Janeane Garofalo, who is my god. She is amazing in everything! I was totally into ‘The Truth about Cats and Dogs’. She plays Vickie, who manages a gap and is into the 70’s, especially the music.
The annoying: How obsessed with not selling out and staying true to yourself everyone in the movie is, and how they try to not be into commercial or mainstream things. Winona’s character, Lelaina Pierce, who at a job interview can’t define ironic. She graduated valedictorian from university and cannot find a job. She is told she is over qualified due to her degree, meanwhile she can’t seem to be able to talk to anyone or prove that getting her degree proves that she is a hard-worker. She is lost. I feel that if she just cut the “I am better than everyone because I was valedictorian” bullshit. She doesn’t want the typical, menial existence, but really she needs to get off the couch, get a damn job, and stop being so f’ing stuck up! I will admit that it is funny when Lelaina’s dad says her generation does not have any work ethic, because many people would say that about the kids of today. I think it is just that people do everything differently. I think what a lot of people forget is that getting any job does not mean that you have to work there forever. Rent needs to be paid. Okay, enough of that shit….
David Spade! He plays the hot dog vendor manager, but the best part of his role is his hat, which says, “WIENER DUDE”!!!! I NEED THIS HAT!
Ben Stiller! Not only did he direct the movie, but he plays Michael Grates, the yuppie guy who drives a BMW and works at some tv station, ‘In your face TV’, that apparently is hipper than MTV. He meets Lelaina when he crashes into his car, and then takes her on a date. He eventually sells her ‘documentary’ to the tv station he works at. Now, this documentary is just her video taping her friends, which when the tv station edits it she is overly disgusted. You never actually see what the documentary really looked like! There are clips throughout the movie, but really you don’t see what she actually made. She said she worked so hard on it, but you never see her editing, only holding a camera. Apparently, it meant a lot to her, and yet she did not ever actually try to do anything with it?! Once again, Lelaina is a bit of a douche. She really wanted to be something by the age of 23, how about not being a total asshole? Also, Ben Stiller’s ear are huge in this movie.
Of course, Troy and Lelaina sleep together. He says he loves her. Okay. That makes sense. He is an asshole, she is an asshole. But then he leaves early the next morning and avoids her. He freaks out because he has never had sex with someone he loves before. My pick, Michael. He has a job, is not a total asshole, and actually cares about Lelaina, somehow.
The song that Troy sings at the bar before the big blowout between him and Lelaina is awful. Alt 90’s garbage about how depressed he is, and his voice is really, really, really bad. But then he goes onstage and sings a song for Lelaina, that is awful, and definitely does the trick. She hates it. How could she not, she has ears.
90’s montage: Troy runs away to Chicago, to see his dying father, and Lelaina mopes around the apartment and does laundry. She eventually finds out where he went and tries to go after him, but then he shows up at her doorstep in a suit. He tells her that his dad died, and of course that changed his view on commitment, but not hair-washing. Still greasy AF.
Don’t worry Troy and Lelaina end up together. #ugh
In conclusion, I do really like this movie. It encapsulates the 90’s, the fashion, the music, the greasy hair, and total shit attitudes. Also, my favourite song of all-time plays during the credits, “stay” by Lisa Loeb. And “my sharona”, which I don’t hate, as much as I want to.
Quoatable: “I am Audi 5000”
Reality bites receives 4.5 cleverly placed product placements, ironically out of a possible 5.