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POST GRAD, 2009
Movie Review

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POST GRAD MOVIE POSTER
POST GRAD, 2009
Movie Reviews

Directed by Vicky Jenson
Stars: Alexis Bledel, Michael Keaton, Carol Burnett, Zach Gilford, Jane Lynch, Rodrigo Santoro
Review by Matthew Toffolo



SYNOPSIS:

When recent college graduate Ryden Malby (Bledel) discovers she can't land a good job because of the working world's harsh climate, she moves back in with her oddball family in order to reconsider her options.

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REVIEW:

Besides learning that star Alexis Bledel has the most interesting blue eyes (they seem almost not real), I really didn't get much from Post Grad unfortunately. I think the concept is pretty good as I'm sure there are many people who are trying to find their way after that whole school thing is over. And many people can relate to this movie as we'll all go through it sometime.

There's a line in the film where a girl at a party says, "Stay in school for as long as possible because this is the easy part." That's really very true as school is a very black and white world built with a lot structure. They tell you where to go, what to read, what to write and in exchange you get a piece a paper after a few 100 or so days that states you've accomplished something. Hopefully you've also understand how the structure of school works so you can take those tools and use it for your own life.

After school there is no more structure as you must learn to live within the world that's given to you. Usually you intern or take a low paying job where you work about a 100 hours a week but at least you're not paying anyone else anymore in exchange for learning. Then the business you're working for sees how much you want it and then will either tell you to go away or give you an upgrade in responsibilities and money. Post Grad is the film about getting that low paying job first.

But I never really found out what this film was really trying to say. That family comes first? That even though you have no sexual feelings for a guy friend, he likes you a lot so that's important and that sex thing will come eventually? That sometimes when you get what you want it's not what you really wanted? That it's better to be strange than normal in this world? That life sucks so you might as well be with people who like you? They tapped into all of these things but never really went all the way with it. I wonder what director Vicky Jenson's answer would be. Perhaps after seeing the box office numbers of Post Grad it will be to stay in animation (she directed Shrek and Shark Tale).

Post Grad give us a really interesting opening as our lead Ryden Malby states her current status on where most people at age 22 do, on a social networking site. Because this is a 20th Century Fox film, she's doing it on Myspace (News Corp owns both companies). It's a cool opening that's fresh and it gets us gearred into the new 21st century world during (or after, depends who you are talking to) a recession. Then for some reason we're quickly back in the 20th century as Ryden begins to look for jobs in the newspaper ads. Do people really do that now? And does a 22 year old even know what a newspaper is? With today's job market websites I'm sure Ryden wouldn't be checking the wantads! That little tiny detail immediately took me out of the film because it doesn't logically make sense.

Ryden is someone who's done everything conventionally right and expects a job after graduation. In fact she feels very entitled and assumes that she deserves a job eventhough she really hasn't done anything. Of course she doesn't and that's the basis of Post Grad. So for the next 80 minutes Ryden begins to learn who she is.

But in reality she doesn't at all. There isn't really any conflict in this film and Ryden learns that she really doesn't want to work all that hard to get what she wants. In a movie that's made by a cast and crew who work on average 13 hours a day this is a strange lesson to give. It's almost telling the generation-y population that hard work isn't really that important. And in this reviewers opinion it's the #1 important element in setting up a happy existence.

Of course life is all about family and friends but if you personally aren't doing what you love to do, then you're in a lot of trouble. And usually (okay almost always) hard work will get you to that place of happiness.

Post Grad is a mishmash of a lot of things but it's really not a movie. There are a lot of characters in the film doing various things but we never get to know any of them. And because we don't get to know them we don't really care what happens.

Curious too why they put this film in the end of the summer rotation and not in May where many kids would relate to this film more as they are in the midst of their own personal Post Grad. In August you're either too depressed to watch this film as it will be too close to home or you've found your job and are now onto another personal conflict.

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