Stay in School, Kids
A for actors’ effort, but we don’t grade on effort here
By Kristen Page-Kirby
I once heard a story—I have no idea if it’s true—that when Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey wrote Wayne’s World, they wrote the story and realized they had about 35 minutes worth of film. So they added in all the filler—the “Bohemian Rhapsody” sequence, the bits in the donut shops, the Alice Cooper concert. I’m pretty sure that’s what happened in Post-Grad, the main difference being that Wayne’s World is funny.
Ryden Malby (Alexis Bleidel) graduates from college, narrowly missing valedictorian. She’s sure she’s on her way to a great job, great apartment, great everything—until, of course, it turns out that there are plenty of smart kids out there with college degrees. Her dream job goes to Jessica Bard (Catherine Rietman), her “own personal Darth Vader,” her car gets into a hit-and-run, the apartment manager wants, like, money, so that’s gone—and she moves back home with mom (Jane Lynch), dad (Michael Keaton), grandma (Carol Burnett. No, really) and little brother.
And then a lot of stuff happens, all of it boring. See, it turns out that graduating from college and having trouble getting a job is not the most exciting thing in the world, so screenwriter Kelly Fremon brought the hijinks. There’s a bit with cat poo, a Brazilian with an inflatable couch, a belt-buckle heist and the most important subplot, childhood friend Adam’s (Zach Gilford) unrequited love for Ryden.
The odd thing about this movie is it’s likeable actors playing likeable characters and it’s still the most boring movie I’ve seen in recent memory. It’s bad. It’s not even fun-bad, like Center Stage. It’s just bad-bad. And it’s a shame, because the actors are clearly doing their best; Bleidel has a nice sense of comic timing, Keaton is particularly good and no one does puppy-dog eyes like “Friday Night Light’s” Gilford. It’s Movie McNugget; without a good script to provide any sort of substance or real flavor, it doesn’t matter how nice the chicken was that had to die.
There’s a bit more language than one would expect here, particularly for a PG-13 rating—the s-word flies, as does “GD” (both the abbreviation and its full form), the b-word and one f-bomb. Ryden and her peers drink (although they all are of age) and Ryden has a steamy makeout session when the guy has his shirt off and she appears in her bra, but only from the back.
I saw this on a Friday in the middle of a workday. It’s about an hour and 20 minutes long, and I would rather have been at work. Don’t see this movie just because you’re a fan of “Gilmore Girls” or Bleidel’s earlier, better work in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants movies. Don’t see this movie if it’s free. Don’t see it if it’s showing on a wall and you can see it through your bedroom window. In fact, the only way you should see this movie is if your child is kidnapped and seeing it is a condition of his or her release. Even then, try to see if the kidnappers will take a few extra thousand dollars instead.
On an August 22 showing, the previews were all rated PG-13: The Boys are Back, with Clive Owen looking very tasty and making one comment about some tennis players’ breasts; The Invention of Lying, which had some discussion of sex (and also looks really funny), and Whip It, which has some brief kissing and a lot of roller derby and I seriously can’t wait to see it.