By Sandra Kraisirideja
“Post Grad” is a timely movie that will play well in the Great Recession.
Recent college graduate Ryden Malby (Alexis Bledel) expects to launch her career as a book editor bright and early Monday morning following her commencement. Things don’t go as planned and she is forced to move back home while looking for work.
Her “crazy” family is played by Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch and Carol Burnett. Unfortunately, this great combination of improvisational talent is wasted on a script that doesn’t take any risks. This is among the movie’s biggest flaws.
Ryden’s situation is being played out across the country as the class of 2009 enters the workforce to compete with not just their classmates, but tens of thousands who have more education and more experience. In the real world recent college graduates probably don’t have the luxury of Bledel’s beauty and charm either.
It’s a confusing and unpredictable time, but rather than explore the emotional complexity of being a college graduate during one of the worst recessions in history, “Post Grad” just turns into a predictable and bland romantic comedy.
For a movie written and directed by women it doesn’t break down any stereotypes or explore new territory. It’s the kind of film that makes cynics roll their eyes. Ryden does get her dream job and is making a great impression. Then at a crucial moment she decides to quit her job and confess her love for her best friend since grade school. Puh-leeze.
Two women I know have told me they liked this movie and thought it was “cute.” This reminds me that I am not like other moviegoers. I expect a lot from filmmakers since I’ve spent nearly my entire life watching, reviewing and writing about movies.
Entertainment writers and film critics are passionate about movies and we want to get swept away in the magic they create. When a movie doesn’t deliver or at least surprise and delight us it can be a huge letdown.
So yes, on the surface I suppose “Post Grad” could be considered “cute” and it would be perfectly acceptable entertainment for its genre. It may even make money, but it left me feeling unsatisfied and disappointed, which is the opposite of how I want a movie to make me feel.
Photo L-R: Michael Keaton, Carol Burnett, Bobby Coleman, Jane Lynch, Alexis Bledel and Zach Gilford. Credit: Suzanne Tenner