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'Post Grad' Alumni Worry More than Laugh

August 25, 2009
By Tony Rutherford
What’s a college movie with only a hint of parties, beer and boobs? It’s “Post Grad,” the first flick to arrive at megaplexes reflecting the impact of the deep recession on college after-life.

Prior to the mega-recession, the standard college flick had at least one permanent student relying on funds from home and distinctly avoiding the leap to the ‘real world.’ Opps. That’s how it was before student loans and retail hell part-time positions represented the norm. Now, even grad school can be seen as a sidestep for no employment offers.

Ryden Malby (Alexis Bledel) had her life planned until her dream job went to valedictorian, Jessica Bard (Catherine Reitman). Worse than an entry-level roommate arrangement, she and her wrecked car end up parked in her eccentric family’s garage.

When the Malby family invade the graduation ceremony notoriously late with grandma (Carol Burnett) dragging her oxygen tank over top heads, it’s a “Meet the Fockers” and potentially “You Can’t Take It With You” screwball moment. Ultimately, the imaginative video-blog, multitasking opening degenerates into tolerable situation comedy cliche.    

Hardly mind shattering thereafter, alums of “Post Grad” survive an anxiety-provoking, would-be comedic ‘don’t laugh it might be me’ series of reality checks. Even a distinguished funny pedigree (Michael Keaton, Burnett) fails at punch lines to lift the ‘could be me’ dread. Best moments — the dog memorial service, bicycling to interviews with heels sticking out of her large purse,  Ryden v. Jessica at the mall and Eskimo pies.

Heed the bottom line: No dream job guarantee, keep options open, including the friend you relied upon without pressing lips, an older dude advantage (or two), retail carnivals after college (what, no fast food?), and how attractive gals in the movies (and elsewhere?) have a ‘no stalking’ pass.

Restricting my comments so not to spoil, I’ll state it’s a done romantic comedy deal, blowing promising opportunities of 20somethings adrift in the humble pie themes and a few establishment versus musical artistry desires. At least, the writer (director or studio) should have spent a few more bucks on interactive climax brainstorming.

Not a head of the class production , but has such sweetness and grins, that purple casket aside,  it’s not completely dead on arrival either.

Fact Box

One and a half stars out of four

 
 

 

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