"Garofalo, as usual, reigns. Problem is there's not much to reign against."
One can definitely say that Ben Stiller gave his directorial debut his best shot with Reality Bites, which is along the lines of Slacker and Dazed and Confused.The story is concerned with a group of twentysomethings who are alienated from the world and themselves by themselves because they are unsure of what to do in life themselves. What's the point? Where do we stand? Why am I not where I thought I'd be by now? Otherwise, Existentialism 101 for Graduate Students. Many movies before have asked these questions before, and most have given better answers. Stiller's opus, in which he also acts in as a doofy, but likable guy who actually does know where he's going and has a lot of what he wants, is mostly obsessed with the modern inconveniences of television and its influence on them. Kind of like how the television and the Internet are today. The main protagonist is Winona Ryder (her savior of an invention is the "44-ounce Big Gulp") and her main disappointment is with herself and her unacknowledged or unwanted love for her friend played by Ethan Hawke. He plays just as much of a game with her, but is the one who really is unrequited. Awwww, don't you feel so bad for him? If you do, if you see the movie, I'm sure your feelings of sorrow will be lost for him. The main problem is in this script, and it is not to fault, but the main male and female protagonists are not that likable or conducive. After awhile their stories lose that which is compelling, and instead the other characters surrounding them are what are interesting, but only partially focused on (like Janeane Garofalo). But we have to settle for less, and so does the quality of the movie. Ryder hardly achieves effectiveness, and Hawke is totally miscast for the role. Garofalo, like usual, reigns.Final Verdict: C+.