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Matthew Razak avatar 6:41 AM on 08.21.2009
Monday Review: Inglorious Basterds and Post Grad

(Ok, I lied. There's no Inglorious Basterds review. All of the press screenings were at times I couldn't make so you'll have to wait until Monday by which time you'll probably have already seen it. Until then though, enjoy me beating on Post Grad like a red headed step child.)



There are bad movies and then there are bad movies. Bad movies have are just bad, but bad movies are insulting to the medium of film, the intelligence of the audience and humanity in general. When the highlight of your film is Michael Keaton acting goofy you have made a bad movie. This means that when I say the highlight of Post Grad is Michael Keaton acting goofy you know how truly terrible a movie it must be.

It's been a bad summer for action movies, but on the flip side of the that we've actually been blessed with a decent slew of solid indie comedy films like (500) Days of Summer. However, instead of the quirky comedy genre closing summer with a bang we get Post Grad, a film so insanely insipid that it is almost guaranteed that screenwriter Kelly Freemon is actually a 13-year-old girl whose only knowledge of the actual world is what she has gleaned from bad coming of age movies. That is after all what Post Grad is trying to be. The sad tale of grade-A student Ryden Malby (Alexis Bliedel), who after graduating college can't find a job right off the bat because she doesn't get the dream job she thought she would. Oh no! Time to fall apart and question who you really are and what life means, Ryden!

After not being able to find a job for a week Ryden starts getting grumpy and turning against her family and friends, which makes about the least likable person in the world considering the current employment situation of the country. This is all despite the fact that her family is amazingly understanding and helpful, her friend is a ridiculously good looking guy who is in love with her and she actually has a roof over her head and plenty of options to make some money somewhere, which is something that is a struggle for many in the real world at the moment. The film doesn't even mention the fact the we're in a recession, begging the question of if it was released simply to insult a large portion of the population.

Oh, and yes that was a mention of a best friend of the opposite sex whose really into her, but she doesn't realize it and so breaks his heart. Sure that plot point is incredibly contrived, but this is a coming of age story so it can work, right? Well, it doesn't actually work when the "guy hiding right in front me" is a caring, handsome, musician/lawyer/athlete who has already professed his love for our intrepid heroin before we are ten minutes into the film. It's easy to miss the great guy right in front of you when he's human, but when he's Superman then you're an idiot. That situation is systematic of the entire film's need to incorporate every single aspect of a coming of age story and failing completely at all of them. There's even a pesky little brother who doesn't get enough attention from dad.

The film has absolutely no cohesive parts or characters to care about, and even if you did some how find yourself wanting to care the idea that someone would make a movie about a recent college grad unable to get a job into something as trite and idiotic as this is really offensive. One wonders why the filmmakers thought anyone would care about a whiny, annoying brat with almost no redeeming value.

Then there is the ending. It's the ending you know is coming from the beginning of the film and you want to stop it. You want to shout out, "No! We've moved beyond this kind of thing in society. Don't... please... stop." But Post Grad doesn't stop, it heaps more bad on top of the bad that it has already delivered until all it can do is wallow in its own cliche, wondering why even the teenage girls in the front row of the theater -- the very girls that should be lapping its message up -- are whispering about how pathetic a film it is.

(I would be forever thankful you clicked on the link in my profile so that I a may continue my one man excavation of child-killing landmines around the world.)

 
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