August 22, 2009
Review - " Post Grad " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
eccentric family - a karate-obsessed dad, a politically incorrect grandma, a spoiled-brat little brother. Shortly thereafter, the
job interview montage is a lesson in what not to do when interviewing for entry-level jobs. Ryden practices her sales pitch in
the mirror and then delivers it line-for-line to potential employers: “I’m driven, full of ideas, upbeat and, most importantly, I’m
incredibly enthusiastic about the work your company’s doing.”
Well, that’s great, Ryden, but so is every other person who applied for the job. The truth is, other than having a degree and
shelves of classic books, she doesn’t seem to have the qualifications for any job, let alone one at a top publishing house.
The bad news is that by the time she’s finally hired, so many unrelated things have come up in the plot, such as her quirky
family’s hijinks and a cute-but-boring love triangle involving her childhood best friend (Zach Gilford) and her 30-something
Brazilian neighbour (played by "Love Actually" hottie Rodrigo Santoro), that the audience has forgotten she was looking for a
meaningful job in the first place. The job just ends up being a tool to create a cheesy Hollywood ending anyway (one that
anyone with any feminist sensibilities will be offended by).
For most of us, a generation that’s grown up with a little less Brady Bunch and a little more American Pie, a movie with an all-
white cast that focuses on a perfect upper-middle class family whose biggest worries are boxcar races and that their 22-year-
old daughter might have sex, Post Grad comes across, quite frankly, a little boring.
"Post Grad" holds together as a movie only because of Alexis Bledel's performance as Ryden. She is charming and fun. The
story is weak, however, resulting in Michael Keaton and Carol Burnett doing unfunny things and saying unfunny dialogue.
The directing is average, with very little to recommend. The movie contains plenty of foul language. Also, Ryden and the next-
door neighbor, in the throes of passion, start to disrobe in order to engage in sexual congress, but they are interrupted -
which happened to give us the one truly funny moment in the whole film. The movie does show that family and relationships
are more valuable than success in business. Otherwise, "Post Grad" must be approached with caution.
But ultimately, it’s a cute, quirky film with a cast full of
typically strong actors, such as Keaton, Jane Lynch
and Carol Burnett, that will make you smile at some
parts and think, “I've been there!” or, unfortunately,
“I’m there now!”
Your best bet is to check it out with your best friends
from college or university, or maybe your parents to
show them you’re not the only unemployed grad in the
world who’s still trying to find themselves.
What’s especially disappointing about Post Grad, then,
is not so much that Ryden is another one-dimensional,
boy-seeking female character, but that the movie goes
whole hog in promoting gender roles that should be
antiquated. Ryden’s Prince Charming, a guy named
Adam, abandons his aspirations as a (not half bad)
musician in order to go to law school, for no apparent reason other than a desire to end up richer than his grocery-store-
manager dad. If Post Grad is trying to teach anything, it’s that the guy’s supposed to have a well-paying job, while the girl is
supposed to follow him around like a puppy, because she can’t possibly be happy otherwise. (Hear that, single girls seeking
jobs? Your lives must really suck!)
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Directed by: Vicky Jenson
Starring: Alexis Bledel, Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett,
Zach Gilford, Rodrigo Santoro, Catherine Reitman
Ryden Malby had a plan. Step One - do well in high school, thereby
achieving Step Two - get a kick-butt college scholarship. Step Three -
limit her beer pong in order to keep said scholarship - wasn't always
easy. Now that she’s finally graduated, it’s time for Step Four - moving
to LA to land her dream job at the city’s best publishing house.
However, like so many of her real-life peers who have come out of arts
and sciences programs, Ryden faces a harsh reality where she’s not
hired for her Dream Job five minutes out of school. Dozens of people
also interview for the Dream Job, and she flubs all the subsequent
interviews for other jobs.
Unfortunately, at times the film itself is also like some recent
graduates: it has no idea what it wants to be or how it will get there, so
it stumbles aimlessly from one thing to the next.
The good news is the first half an hour of Post Grad will resonate with
everyone who has recently come out of school feeling absolutely
terrified and a bit worthless for not having landed their Dream Job by
When Jessica Bard, Ryden’s college nemesis—the prettiest, smartest,
most ambitious girl at school—steals her perfect job, Ryden’s forced
to move back to her childhood home in the Valley. Stuck with her