Reality Bites (1994) Rated PG-13

reality bitesA group of friends, fresh out of college, try to make it in the real world. Starring Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo, Steve Zahn, Ben Stiller, Swoosie Kurtz

This movie was better than I expected.  I anticipated gratuitous amounts of drug use, sex, and the general slacker mentality.  These elements are definitely present, but they are underscored by a deeper insight into the minds of 90’s twenty-somethings.   Writer Helen Childress expertly captures the angst of trying to figure out life on their own terms, not simply following in their parents’ footsteps.

The three main characters represent three archetypes of the day:  the creative businessman (and the film’s director, Ben Stiller), the philosophical slacker musician (Ethan Hawke), and the highly educated but naïve filmmaker (Winona Ryder).  As their lives intertwine, they both confuse and make sense of the world around them by poking fun at the culture they exist in, while desperately trying to navigate in it.   A fabulous soundtrack captures the essence of the 90’s perfectly.  Darkly funny and surprisingly introspective, this film is worth a watch.


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