We all go through the quarter life crisis at some point in our twenties. We either have everything planned out only to watch things fall apart or we simply have everything at hand but are struggling to decide what to do. Post Grad could have taken this concept and made a thoughtful movie out of it, unfortunately it failed to do so. Post Grad is not a great movie, but at the same time it does have its charm and it provides decent entertainment for 89 minutes.
Alexis Bledel headlines this film as Ryden Malby, a hyper-organized girl who has her post-collegiate life mapped out in advance. The primary goal is to land a job at a prestigious Los Angeles publishing house. Of course, things don’t go as planned and she struggles to find a job while being forced to move back home to live with her parents. Meanwhile her best friend and secret admirer Adam (Zach Gilford) is struggling to decide whether he should pursue his dream of a music career or take the safe route and go to law school. Sounds good so far right?
What starts as an attempt to address the ever growing problem of post-grad reality and quarter life crises devolves into a mess that consists of subplots that involve her zany family members and a rather forced love triangle (which seemed like it never happened since it fizzled out by the third act). It’s rather unfortunate because the film could have offered a bit more insight into the lives of twentysomethings but instead it just threw in a bunch of random storylines hoping to distract the viewer for no apparent reason. In the end, it seemed like the movie was going through an identity crisis of its own. Did it want to be a coming of age story? Did it want to be a cheesy romantic comedy? Who knows? The script by first time screenwriter Kelly Fremon never quite figures it out, so all we get is an inconsistent, jumbled movie.
That being said, it wasn’t entirely bad. With an all star cast involving Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch and Carroll Burnett, they certainly helped breathe life into what could have been a rather bland film. Despite all the wackiness that is involved with their characters, it’s hard not to like the Malbys because they are just that darn likeable.
While the film lacked consistency, it did have many fun filled moments and it carries a certain charm that almost got me to let go of all its faults. The subplots may have not meshed into the film that well, but it did lead to a few chuckles, so I’ll give it that. There was a scene that involved Michael Keaton’s character, a cat, a pizza box and a small hole that is sure to generate many fits of laughter.
The movie probably deserves a lot more bashing that what I’m going to give it. My bias stems from those Gilmore Girls episodes that I’ve tuned into and my love for Friday Night Lights (which Zach Gilford is a part of). While Alexis Bledel doesn’t bring much to the table in this film (in fact she doesn’t even shake off the Rory Gilmore vibe at all) and Zach Gilford’s character didn’t have many opportunities to get fleshed out, but I couldn’t help but root for them as a couple. They share a sweet chemistry together that is sure to warm the hearts of the TV fanatics out there.
Post Grad is meant as a feel-good movie. It certainly served its purpose as I left the theatre with a smile on my face despite enduring another formulaic feature film.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ + 1/2