Reality Bites

Reality Bites

4.4 9

Cast: Ben Stiller, Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo

     
 

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This film was one of the more mainstream offerings in the array of films that emphasized the overly hyped "Generation X" phenomenon, a list that ranges from Slacker to Singles and includes a host of other films. Winona Ryder stars as Lelaina, a recent college graduate. Out on her own and independent from her supportive, but out-of-touch parents, LelainaSee more details below

Overview

This film was one of the more mainstream offerings in the array of films that emphasized the overly hyped "Generation X" phenomenon, a list that ranges from Slacker to Singles and includes a host of other films. Winona Ryder stars as Lelaina, a recent college graduate. Out on her own and independent from her supportive, but out-of-touch parents, Lelaina faces the realities of careers and relationships. She can't stand her internship under a local television personality (John Mahoney), and she's forced to choose between Michael (Ben Stiller), a well-intentioned music-video network executive, and Troy (Ethan Hawke), a brooding, sensitive slacker. Meanwhile, she must also protect the artistic integrity of "Reality Bites," a video documentary that depicts the everyday lives of her friends (Hawke, Janeane Garofalo, and Steve Zahn). This 1994 release also marks the feature directorial debut of Ben Stiller.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Although it was unfairly derided for its perceived commodification of the grunge/slacker zeitgeist, Reality Bites is actually a rather charming if conventional film that uses its mid-'90s trappings -- AIDS tests, espresso shops, unwashed hair, '70s TV trivia, and so-so alt-rock -- as a backdrop for coming-of-age melodrama and romantic comedy. The screenplay contains some pretty sharp writing from first-time scribe Helen Childress and a stellar cast highlighted by Janeane Garafolo and Ben Stiller. Fresh from his celebrated stint in TV sketch comedy, Stiller exhibits a sure hand as a director, but it's his portrayal of a corporate scumbag who wants to prove he's still hip that helped cement his status as one of the most enjoyably neurotic leading men of the '90s. Garafolo, meanwhile, steals every scene she's in -- folding sweaters at the Gap, obsessing about her drunken sexcapades, and providing acerbic commentary on the main romantic plot. Steve Zahn is underutilized as the obligatory gay friend, his inner life reduced to a few scenes of HIV paranoia, but Swoosie Kurtz has fun in a brief role as Lelaina's mom. As for the heroine herself, Winona Ryder was at the height of her popularity when the film came out, and she invests Lelaina with the fragile luminosity and hipster wit she perfected in Heathers. Co-star Ethan Hawke, in a role similarly close to his own celebrity persona, downplays his looks with bad facial hair and an intellectual sneer, turning Troy into the sort of pretentious, defensive, cred-obsessed jerk who did not, alas, disappear from the pop-culture landscape along with Generation X. In the end, that's what makes Reality Bites more than the sum of its once-hip references; its details may be rooted in 1994, but its characters and situations are as universal as they are funny.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/15/2014
UPC:
0025192232381
Original Release:
1994
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Universal Studios
Sales rank:
13,062

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Winona Ryder Lelaina Pierce
Ethan Hawke Troy Dyer
Ben Stiller Michael Grates
Janeane Garofalo Vickie Miner
Steve Zahn Sammy Gray
Swoosie Kurtz Charlane McGregor
Joe Don Baker Tom Pierce
John Mahoney Grant Gubler
Kevin Pollak Actor
Harry O'Reilly Wes McGregor
Renée Zellweger Tani
Bill Bolender Truck Driver
John Walsh Player #3
Andy Dick Rock
Keith David Roger
Anne Meara Louise
Amy Stiller Psychic Phone Partner
Afton Smith Janine
Pat Crawford Brown Cashier
Jeff Kahn Stage Manager
Karen Duffy Actress "Elaina"
Evan Dando Actor "Roy"
Jeanne Tripplehorn Fashion Show Host (uncredited)

Technical Credits
Ben Stiller Director
Michael Armani Set Decoration/Design
Eugenie Bafaloukos Costumes/Costume Designer
Helen Childress Screenwriter
Lisa Churgin Editor
Danny DeVito Producer
Jeff Knipp Art Director
Deborah Larsen Makeup
David Larson Asst. Director
Emmanuel Lubezki Cinematographer
Francine Maisler Casting
Maggie Martin Set Decoration/Design
Sharon Seymour Production Designer
Michael Shamberg Producer
Stacey Sher Executive Producer
Lori-Etta Taub Associate Producer
Allan Wertheim Asst. Director

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