Reality Bites

1994

Comedy / Drama

9
IMDb Rating 6.6

Synopsis


Downloaded 42841 times
4/7/2014 2:13:28 PM

1080p 720p
1.44G
1920*1040
PG-13
English
23.976 /
98 min
P/S 0 / 4
755.05M
1280*696
PG-13
English
23.976 /
98 min
P/S 0 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by morphion2 8

The first time I reviewed "Reality Bites" I was 15, and I had missed much of the film's point, praising it without critique. The second time was after viewing the film again a year later, upon which I began to notice things that I had naively ignored, such as just what self-centred people the characters were. I re-reviewed it, this time with an overly negative response. It was not until my third watching, and third review, of the film that I returned to my initial opinion, this time with reasons rooted in aspects of the film it had taken me 2 years to spot. Comedy star Ben Stiller is most well known for his comic portrayals of characters cursed with incredibly bad luck (see Meet the Parents, There's Something about Mary, Zoolander). His career as a director is not nearly as extensive as that of his acting, although he has appeared in every film he's directed. For those wondering, it all started in 1994, with romantic comedy "Reality Bites". Winona Ryder plays Lelaina Pierce, a fresh-faced college graduate who works a frustrated job as assistant producer for a cheesy talk show, while in her own time she enjoys filming her friends Vicky (Janeane Garofalo), Sammy (Steve Zahn) and good-looking rebel Troy (Ethan Hawke) in an amateur documentary on the disenfranchised lives of Generation X called 'Reality Bites'. In a mild car accident she meets Michael (Stiller), a sweet-hearted businessman, and they begin a romantic relationship, from which sparks talk of taking her documentary to the commercial network Michael works for. Amidst this, tensions between Lelaina and Troy begin to rise as his feelings for her become clearer... "Reality Bites" is the kind of film that is prone to misperception. The movie has an under-the-radar subtlety to it that was widely missed even by advocators of the film. While the characters are given sensitive treatment in the script and in performance, they are also portrayed with the hidden agenda of satirizing the generation they exemplify and the culture of that generation. On one level this is apparent: the constant 90's culture references, quotes such as Troy's response to promptings from Lelaina while documenting him: "I am not under any orders to make the world a better place". The more hidden layer of subtlety comes in the form of the film's general Hollywood treatment and product placement: the film makers chose a undeniably commercial approach to a subject that is widely presented as such (life and love in the 1990's), while the specific matters and characters in the movie were based around independent and "un-commercial" philosophy. This means the film is, by its very nature, ironic on more than one level. Critics of the film were mostly irritated by the main characters' stereotypical personalities and subsequently found them to be boring. This misses another of the film's points: the characters are deliberately stereotypical and too often were the naive and condescending opinions of these characters, namely Lelaina and Troy, mistaken for the morals of the film. "Reality Bites" doesn't believe that Lelaina is a genius documentarian, it doesn't believe that Troy is a brilliant and secretly reliable guy and it doesn't believe Michael deserves the rotten deal he gets. It just shows how this kind of cultural mentality plays out in practice. That being said, one very straight-forward quality of the film is the acting performances. All four members of the lead cast do excellent jobs; they nail their characters with succinct accuracy. Ethan Hawke is the stand out performance, as the brooding and condescending Troy, a character most unlike any of the others he has played before or since. Ryder is at her best here, in a performance topped only by that of Girl, Interrupted. Stiller, too, delivers solidly, even if the role is very similar to others he has played. "Reality Bites" may strike a resonate note of realism for members of Generation X, but that really isn't its ultimate goal. Essentially this is a film that doesn't necessarily wear its heart on its sleeve, but serves as moderately engaging entertainment of a slightly more insightful nature than others of its kind.

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Reviewed by kmedina518 9

I really enjoyed this movie. Looking back in hindsight, I can see the selfishness of the characters, and I have read the complaints about this, but isn't that kind of the whole point of the movie? It's about people talking about not "selling out" while at the same time they ARE "selling out" in many different ways. They (the characters in the movie) are all consumers who satirize the very idea of "consumerism" but refuse to "stoop down to the level" of getting menial jobs to try and pay the bills. The movie defines for me how education isn't everything and from my own experience I have learned that sometimes the "great dream" (of being a writer, artist, musician, etc.) just doesn't pay the bills and in order to make decent money one may have to go into a field that is not originally their first choice as a means of employment. I remember being young and wistful, with dreams of being an artist, only to have to "settle" for an office job to make ends meet. The movie does express what life was like for me at the time. I was a naive student with dreams of producing great artistic work, but who learned that what is taught in college as "reality" is not really reality at all. College students are fed with lofty artistic statements and philosophies and are taught to analyze endless aspects of society, ideals, etc., and are taught that "knowledge and education are power" but are not taught that credibility and respect are things which must be earned and that very few people actually start out at the top of the career ladder. Overall, this continues to be one of my favorite films and I appreciate the myriad of messages that it sends, though they may, at times, be contradictory.

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Reviewed by nunyerbiz 5

Ok.. When I first saw this in the theatre upon it's initial release, I really indentified with it. Upon viewing it seven years later, I realized what a whiny, early-twentysomething I was back then. This movie is incredibly pretentious and makes my generation look like a bunch of babies with dirty diapers. Unfortunately, in the mid 90's, that's exactly how most people my age acted. We felt we deserved the world on a silver platter... and cried when it wasn't handed to us. The characters, by 2001 standards, are all horrible mid-90's stereotypes. Hawke, Ryder and Garofolo's characters are painfully self-absorbed. Especially Hakwe's character Troy, he is supposed to be "deep" and "intellectual", but after viewing the film in 2001, his "serious slacker" persona is almost comical. Lelaina (Ryder) is upset because she can't land her dream job immediately after college. (who does?!?) Vickie (Garofolo) is basically a slut who works at the Gap. She talks about AIDS tests as being a defining point of Gen X. This never happened and makes the film seem even more dated. I won't go too much into the story, but it's basically a love triangle between Troy (Hawke), Lelaina (Ryder) and the nice-guy yuppie Michael (Stiller). The early-mid 90's stamp is all over the story, as Stiller's successful-nice guy character is dumped for the slacker with few redeeming qualities (Hawke). In 1994 I saw Michael as square and Troy seemed pretty damned slick and cool. In 2001, I think Michael would be vacationing on the French Riviera, while Troy would be selling used cars. Amazing the difference in attitude seven years make. Technically, the movie is well done. Stiller does a pretty good job directing and gets admirable performances from his cast. Especially the supporting actors Kurtz, Mahoney and an underused Steve Zahn. The soundtrack is excellent and holds up to the test of time much better than the film or soundtracks from similar movies. (ie. Singles) Overall, Reality Bites is an average love-triangle story with WAY to much mid-90's Gen-X slacker sentiment. IMHO, this movie did not age well and today, it seems like a self-parody with it's "angst/slacker" theme.... Ratings: In 1994: 7/10 In 2001: 4/10

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