Post Grad is an annoying, tedious little film that touts a young woman’s desire to fulfill her dreams, at least until she drops them and everything else and runs across the country to follow a boy she basically has ignored for the past four years. Without calling first.
Such is the peculiar life lesson offered here. It might be bearable if the rest of the film were smart, funny, clever or in any way interesting, but, like its protagonist, Post Grad is self-satisfied without any real reason to be. The cast promises more than it can deliver, so weighed down is it with tired jokes and stereotypical characters, from self-obsessed, college-grad daughter Ryden (Alexis Bledel of Gilmore Girls) to wacky Grandma (Carol Burnett) whose presence is solely the means to a running gag about a coffin.
Ryden’s dream is to get a job at Los Angeles’ top publishing house (part of her problem may be that most publishing houses are 3,000 miles away in New York City). When she isn’t hired immediately, she’s forced to move back in with her sitcom-crazy family: her scheming dad (Michael Keaton, doing some middle-aged, suburban riff on his Night Shift hustler and trying hard to steal the show); surprisingly sane mom (the fabulous Jane Lynch as straight woman to Keaton’s madness), and weird little brother (Bobby Coleman of Martian Child, whose behavior would worry me a lot more than it worries his parents).
BFF Adam (Zach “Matt Saracen” Gilford from Friday Night Lights) tries to joke Ryden out of her funk, but she’s too self-absorbed to notice he’s in love with her. (She also doesn’t have any other friends. Wonder why?) She is, however, able to take note of her parents’ handsome neighbor (Rodrigo Santoro), the inappropriately older hot man to whom women in their early 20s tend to gravitate.
We all know that Adam and Ryden are destined to be together, though really he deserves better, and so we wait for Ryden’s awakening, which is about as much fun as writing a term paper on an inexplicably dull subject.
Cast: Alexis Bledel, Zach Gilford, Rodrigo Santoro, Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett.
Director: Vicky Jenson.
Screenwriter: Kelly Fremon.
Producers: Jeffrey Clifford, Joe Medjuck, Ivan Reitman.
A Fox Searchlight release. Running time: 89 minutes. Sexual situations, brief strong language. Playing at area theaters.