Post Grad is exactly what is expected from the trailer. We are dealing with a typical ‘romantic dramedy’ with a thousand subplots, subpar comedy, and one predictable outcome. Animated film director Vicky Jensen’s (SHREK) debut live-action film hits on nothing new except for the main subject matter. The execution however turned the movie into just another romantic comedy and lost all its originality from the dramedy that it was supposed to be.
The superb all-star cast is the only thing saving this movie from disaster. Post Grad was definitely watchable, and I’ll even say cute, but by no means original or heartfelt. This story is based upon the writer Kelly Fremon’s own post graduation experience when she herself had to move back home with the parents and look for any job, but yet still was unable to be hired. That much I understand. It’s when the movie takes a dramatic turn toward other plots that I realized this was made for a mass, disposable income audience with no real care for why the movie was written in the first place.
Ryden Malby, played by the lovely Alexis Bledel (“Gilmore Girls”), has been on path toward success all her life. She has always had straight A’s and been very involved with her school. Ryden has now graduated college with an English degree overconfident that her dream job is inevitable. College graduates however are entering the toughest job market in the last 30 years and Ryden is now up against a great amount of candidates that all want her dream job too. Of course she is quickly thrown out to wolves better known as the real world. Now faced with the dilemma of finding a job in the crowded City of Angels, she must also come face to face with her over passionate job hunt against the people she should actually be passionate for.
Yep, there’s the guy of the story. Zach Gilford (“Friday Night Lights”) is not exactly the love interest. He is rather the guy Ryden never saw that was always in front of her eyes who actually was in love with her. She knows it’s there, but was never sure. Strangely enough the production notes for the film don’t even mention this love story, which is odd because of how prevalent it is in the film. Hell, it’s what the climax of the movie is really all about where as the actual subject matter of the film is quickly solved and runs for… ok I guess I can’t give too much away, even though I’m sure anyone who is someone will predict this unromantic, under dramatic finish. If this is going to turn into a romantic comedy, let’s get some better written and memorable lines.
Another major predicament Ryden comes to face with is her extremely loving yet eccentric family. Every member of this family is wonderful. Not only are the actor’s great, but their character as well. Michael Keaton stars as Ryden’s crazy idea entrepreneur of a father who is never concerned about the destination of his daughter. He knows that she has something special about her that will get her where she needs to be even if it might not be what she had planned.
Other family members include her mother Carmella, played by the hilarious laugh-out-loud comedic Jane Lynch (“Glee”, 40 Year-Old Virgin), and the chain-smoking grandmother Maureen (Carol Burnett). Both get into some amusing physical humor and the grandmother delivers some classic old lady lines. Okay, I admit I laughed a bit.
My main concern is that I felt that Post Grad was all over the place and never knew what it wanted to be. Most will find the situations very relatable too allowing the film to be quite enjoyable. The potential for the film was huge and I have no doubt some indie will come and take this subject for all it is worth. I only wish they could have done it with the first attempt. I guess our lesson from Post Grad is to keep trying.