Friday, 22 April 2011
Film Review: Post Grad
Last night, I realised that someone had tried to make a movie about me, and that movie is called Post Grad.
Total bookworm style over-achiever girl graduates Uni. Has a contingency plan that includes working at a publisher. Wants a loft apartment. Plans to cover entire walls in floor to ceiling bookshelves. In other words, me. Or perhaps not... observe.
Ryden Malby, played by the stunning Alexis Bledel is mostly a likable character, except for the fact that she regularly asserts that books are all she knows, because you actually never see her pick up a book. The movie basically follows her journey as she experiences the pitfalls of (shock horror) not getting everything that she wants. When she loses her dream job (as- get this- assistant to the editor, which if the movie is anything to go by includes shoe to gum ratio maintenance in its job description) to her foot-faced rival Jessica Bard (or some similarly forgettable name) Ryden's life is turned upside down. To add to her frustration, her family is nuts and her best friend is conveniently in love with her. I say conveniently because he seems to spend the whole movie chauffeuring her, rubbing her feet, buying her things and generally flattering her ego.
The movie starts to deviate from my own life in several key ways before the first half hour is even up, much to my disappointment. For a start, my father doesn't act like a four year old, or think selling belt buckles out of a van is a career. (Poor, poor Michael Keaton. He'll be looking back on this one in a few years time and cringing.) Ryden is so unbelievably arrogant that she assumes SHE WILL GET THE FIRST POSITION SHE APPLIES FOR. Then, she feels put out when she receives a less than lukewarm reception from some random Happerman and Browning (fictional publishing company) employee in a big scary office. Who is she kidding? The publishing industry is in decline and there were like 80 000 other applicants, including someone who beat her to the role of valedictorian and won't let her forget it. Insert job related stress (been there, done that), a fun but substance-less affair with hot Brazilian neighbour (sadly, not done that), a brief stint as the world's worst friend (more on that later) and then cheesy movie finish straigh out of the Hannah Montana storyline. Yawn. A good one to watch while you're ironing.
Sue Lynch is a sadly un-utilized part of this movie. Aside from coddling her weird son and bitching at her mother in law, she makes perhaps one joke in the whole film. There is also no chemistry between her and Keaton; they act like a married couple maybe once. This is unsurprising. I don't mean because Lynch is gay; if my husband acted like he needed to repeat preschool, I'd act like I didn't know him either.
Strangely, the movie is not only about me, it could have been written by me (if I had eaten way too much cookie dough/ other substance)- the scene where Ryden doesn't make it to Adam's first playing gig as a musician even though she is his muse is directly out of one of my own stories... also featuring a character called Adam. Either I am psychic or I'm just not as original as I think.
I really wanted to like this movie, simply because I could relate to the situation and to the character, initially. Had the writing and the characterisation been stronge, it would have been passable. On the whole, I would have to give this movie a D.