HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon
Benediction
Nezha Reborn
Evil Toons
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
   
 
  Reality Bites Generation Wrecks
Year: 1994
Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo, Steve Zahn, Ben Stiller, Swoosie Kurtz, Joe Don Baker, John Mahoney, Harry O'Reilly, Renée Zellweger, Andy Dick, Keith David, Anne Meara, Afton Smith, David Spade, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Evan Dando, Karen Duffy
Genre: Comedy, Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  2 (from 1 vote)
Review: When Lelaina Pierce (Winona Ryder) gave her speech at her university graduation she was railing against rampant consumerism and the evils that the older generation had got the younger one, her one, stuck with, except that when she got to the end of it she found she had lost her final cue card and could not deliver her solution to the crowd, offering a flustered "I don't know" that received a cheer. One post-graduation celebration later and she was left in a house with her roommates with a thankless job as assistant to chat show host Grant Gubler (John Mahoney) - not where she wanted to be...

When Reality Bites was initially set loose upon an unsuspecting world in the mid-nineties, it was evident that all involved in its manufacture were hoping to capture that dreaded term, the zeitgest, and for many it was the film that summed up Generation X as it was living its life at the time; or slightly before the time, as it was observed it was already dated by the point it came out. Certainly it had its fans, but even then there were an army of naysayers who judged Ben Stiller's feature directing debut as a misstep in a career that had been promising beforehand, and watching it now it has not aged well; in fact, it looks positively dreadful.

It was easy to take down this as an example of the most facile chasing of the youth market since... well, since whatever was released immediately prior to this, but what made this less comfortable as a target was the fact that it had been written by a nineteen-year-old girl, Helen Childress, who significantly never had another script produced. So when it all comes over as clunky, embarrassing and downright infuriating, the knowledge of the writer's then-youthfulness did stop the blood boiling and left it with the excuse that yeah, it probably would seem better to you if you'd conjured it from the mind of a teenage girl. Except that Stiller for one had some years of experience in this industry.

Actually, his debut was precisely the kind of thing that his television comedy shows would have sent up mercilessly, so why couldn't he see how terrible this was when he was shooting it? From the first scene, where you wonder why Lelaina has forgotten the big ending of the speech she presumably wrote herself, to the love triangle between the square TV exec Michael (Stiller) and the hip aspiring rock singer Troy (Ethan Hawke) and our flaky heroine, all of this had a tin ear for dialogue and a grating sense of smug personality. Lelaina is planning her big break in television, and to do this she obsessively videos her friends mouthing banalities which she edits together as a show reel.

That's one thing that Reality Bites got right, the need for the new generation to express itself through technology and pop culture, so perhaps Childress was right on the money as to what we would be watching as this lot got jobs in the media and everyone's thoughts were broadcast for anyone to idly digest; what this really needed was for the internet to be widepsread, but it didn't warrant a mention in 1994. Instead, there was a steady stream of references to TV shows, pop music and drinks cartons that pass for depth, something that in better hands would be the source of a savvy wit, but here look like desperate attempts at making a connection simply by bringing them up in the glibly navel-gazing conversations the characters take part in. The main thing this captured was not so much how we all lived back then, but how annoying just about everything must have been if we had taken the time to notice.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3517 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: