The press notes for Post Grad are desperately trying to shoehorn the film into some cultural relevance, pointing out that millions of recent college graduates are going into the worst job market in recent memory and failing to find a job-- just like Alexis Bledel's character Ryden! If you can fall for that line, you're about as dumb as the movie assumes you are-- which is very, very dumb.
It starts with a frenetic intro that treats us to Ryden's video blog, her e-cards from archrival valedictorian Jessica (Catherine Reitman, totally miscast) and messages from smitten BFF Adam (Zach Gilford). Not only is the opening pandering to the online generation that is the only possible audience for this movie, it's so thuddingly obvious that it broadcasts every plot point of the film-- not that they expect you to get it anyway.
Ryden is so dumb that she signs the lease on a ginormous apartment before she's even done the interview for her dream job, which she obviously doesn't get. Broke and unemployed, she's forced to move back in with her wacky clan, which covers every stereotype from the Dad full of wacky plans (Michael Keaton, overacting horribly) to the kid brother (Bobby Coleman, following Keaton's lead) who embarrasses you in public. Somehow they managed to cast Jane Lynch as Mom and Carol Burnett as Grandma, but the movie is so inept that neither extraordinarily talented comedienne scores a single laugh.
Adam is in love with Ryden, who is too thick to realize it and goes after her older man Brazilian neighbor (Rodrigo Santoro) instead. As Ryden oh-so-slowly figures out that adult life is about taking responsibility for yourself and treating your friends well, a random carousel of celebrities rolls through the film, giving the audience an opportunity to perk up when J.K. Simmons/Demetri Martin/Fred Armisen/Craig Robinson pops up onscreen, and slump back down when we realize, yet again, valuable talent has been wasted in this solipsistic film.
Bledel has a devoted following from her stint on Gilmore Girls and even in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants she was good at playing a young girl bewildered by her own beauty and intelligence. But Ryden is such an awful character, devoid of empathy or understanding for anyone but herself, and Bledel has no ability to raise the character above the muck of Kelly Fremon's script. Ryden's dilemma is familiar, of course, to anyone who has picked up their diploma and had no idea what to do next. But in an attempt to add wacky hijinks and visual gags to the story, Post Grad turns its main character into someone you want to get away from as soon as possible.
Directed blandly and obviously by Vicky Jenson, Post Grad is a classic turkey, the kind of movie you'll look back on at the end of the year and realize you've forgotten about entirely. Well, you won't forget about it-- hopefully you won't see it, having read this and learned. In this case I've taken the bullet for you; please, learn from my mistake.
Staff Writer at CinemaBlend
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