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Overall Rating

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

3 reviews, 25 user ratings

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Reality Bites
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by Greg Muskewitz

"Garofalo, as usual, reigns. Problem is there's not much to reign against."
3 stars

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+.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 01/08/01 11:58:07
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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
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  01-Jan-1994 (PG-13)
  DVD: 08-Jun-2004



Directed by
  Ben Stiller

Written by
  Helen Childress

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

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