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Overall Rating
2.81

Awesome: 20.93%
Worth A Look: 6.98%
Average34.88%
Pretty Bad: 6.98%
Total Crap: 30.23%

3 reviews, 25 user ratings


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Reality Bites
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by the Grinch

"Reality bites? What a coincidence! So does this movie..."
1 stars

To be honest, I don't see what all the hoopla was about this movie. Reality Bites is a failed spoof of the MTV culture that was ironically latched onto BY the MTV crowd. "Ooh, it's got a hit soundtrack! Onward, to the Cinema!" All I've got to say is: (Sung to the ever famous tune by those has-beens The Knack)"Ba-da Bump bump bump PURE CRAPPOLA!"

The story? Iwanna Rideher graduates valedictorian of her college. She gets a dead-end job working for a Regis Philbin type talkshow host that she hopes will get her foot in the door of show biz. In the meantime she makes a documentary of her confused friends who are all either college dropouts or graduates (is there a difference?). She meets Ben Stiller who's an executive at some MTVish station. He likes her, and likes her documentary and wants to get it on the air...but should she romance Stiller's stable yuppie or Hawke's passionate badboy? And do you really give a shit? Boy, this type of romantic dilemma has never been done before. I'm sorry, but even giving a SUMMARY of this movie's limp plot induces narcolepsy...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The only likeable character in this film is Janeane Garofalo's. She's pretty much the only redeeming quality in this film, but even she is somewhat subdued. Every other character in the film deserves to be bitchsmacked by a pock-marked pimp with 14k gold teeth!

I kept wanting Iwanna Rydeher to summon Beetlejuice, or tear up a picture of Johnny Depp like Skinead O'conner in the Vatican's photo lab, or possibly get gloriously naked (a guy can dream, can't he?). Well, I really kind of detested her character...was I supposed to relate to a whiney indecisive doe-in-the-headlights who has a college degree and full access to daddy's credit cards? What character development! What empathy!

Oh, and then there's Ethan Hawke's brooding James Dean rehash. You know him. He's the cornfed, snot-nosed, pseudo-intellectual I'm-such-a-brilliant-tortured-artist-bow-down-before-me-son-of-jarel asswipe that you always wished would develop a flesh-eating bacteria. Oh, and he's Winona's love interest, which adds even more insult to injury.

AND BEN STILLER DIRECTED THIS!? I just hope this film was fulfilling some contractual obligation and that he wasn't serious about this. (*spoiler alert*) The scene where his smarmy yuppie character made a mockery of Wynona's pretensiously introspective filmfootage of her and her friends really made me laugh..it was supposed to be disturbing seeing the lives of these GenX'r characters you were *supposed* to care about get trashed...but it was really akin to watching a neonazi throw a chair into Geraldo's face...you just hope they both wipe each other out, and decrease the surplus population! (thanks Dickens!)

I can appreciate this movie's "keep your integrity" message, but the delivery was about as good as Cindy Crawford's comedic timing. I laughed, I cried...well, actually, I just fell asleep alot.

Biting commentary? Oh, it bites alright! A sardonic snapshot of Generation X? More like Generation Xcrement!

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1612&reviewer=156
originally posted: 09/23/99 13:23:23
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

12/01/10 Joe Shmoe All of you people that take this movie way too seriously look like assholes right now. YW 5 stars
4/12/09 Dane Youssef Perfectly represents a group of people and a time of life. A look adulthood when it's fresh 4 stars
7/13/06 David Cohen I am offended that some one thought this whiny movie would entertain me! 1 stars
2/08/06 JM Synth Not sure why I watched this all the way through. Slightly better than Empire Records 1 stars
10/30/05 love not very interesting movie ... 3 stars
8/18/05 ES I can define irony- a movie that sets out to entertain and doesn't 2 stars
4/18/05 Jeff Anderson Sadly, so does the entire film! Garafalo is terrific, though. Stick to acting, Ben Stiller. 1 stars
5/05/04 Sarah Heart Not bad 3 stars
5/29/03 marky this is the biggest piece of shit since Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell 1 stars
5/12/03 Jack Bourbon A good example of why bombs were invented. 1 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby Mediocre performances servicing a nondescript screenplay. 2 stars
7/05/02 KMG Loved this movie....classic Ryder 5 stars
2/24/02 Cunegund Winona Ryder is a FAKE 1 stars
3/08/01 Sanja Just don't know why I love this movie! 5 stars
1/09/01 Linh It's awesome,I'm impressed by Winona Ryder 5 stars
1/09/01 Mark a great yoof yarn 5 stars
9/01/00 Elvisfan Some great scenes, a great cast, almost AWESOME but not quite there 4 stars
3/22/00 t matchbox20?? *lol* now THEY are the ones that really suck, not this movie 5 stars
9/29/99 Sherry I loved it! 5 stars
6/17/99 matchbox20 Ryder sucks wake up people! Fuck this sucked 1 stars
4/28/99 Michael Grimm gave all Gen X'ers a bad name, Hawke is annoying 2 stars
3/01/99 Reyna It was soooo funny, great plot and hot men...well only Ethan. What more could you ask for? 5 stars
2/20/99 Piz same lame plot with girl in love with teh bad boy...we've seen it all before. 3 stars
2/20/99 Cool Thing A little tragically cast, and Hawke was so into himself, but worthwhile watching once. 4 stars
2/20/99 chuck-d So perfect, some movies manage to completely capture their moment in time, this is one 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Jan-1994 (PG-13)
  DVD: 08-Jun-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  Ben Stiller

Written by
  Helen Childress

Cast
  Winona Ryder
  Ethan Hawke
  Janeane Garofalo
  Steve Zahn
  Ben Stiller
  Swoosie Kurtz



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