Sunday, October 4, 2009

POST GRAD review


In a sultry summer when a movie like “The Hangover” can make a lot of money, anything can happen. But the likelihood that “Post Grad” will ever bring in enough money to pay the electric bill at the mall is absolutely zero.

This misguided romantic comedy wants to be quirky. Instead it feels like something put together on Monkey Island with no one in charge and everyone tugging in a different direction. Yes, there are a couple of funny moments but not funny enough, at today’s refreshment stand prices.

Alexis Bledel does her best impression of Reese Witherspoon in her early years. Full of spunk and optimism, Bledel believes in overwhelming every problem with enthusiasm and her sparkling blue eyes. While the camera loves those blue eyes, the starlet just doesn’t quite have the knack to be as endearing

Maybe with a different director and a more cohesive script she can still become a movie star.

It doesn’t help that Carole Burnett and Michael Keaton are tacked on to the cast. Neither one brings anything to the screen.

Keaton seems to be ad libbing most of his lines with the barest of instructions. Something like “Just do that goofy guy who talks too fast.” There is no cohesion to the character at all. Imagine a handyman with ADD, full of twitches and squeezing a ball peen hammer. That should do it.

Burnett is even less successful in a smaller (fortunately) part. As we sit waiting for the inevitable and predictable happy ending, there is plenty of time to study Burnett’s face in extreme close-ups, wondering at the art of plastic surgery.

You know how those ancient Greek sculptors knew how to make cold granite faces come alive? Well, Burnett looks just the opposite.

Maybe the investors in this project thought these two veteran performers had enough talent and marquee power to save “Post Grad.” Oops. It didn’t happen.

Oh yes, about that plot. Ryden Malby (Bledel) is the lifetime over-achiever fresh out of college and ready for her power lunches. Adam (Zach Gilford) is the soft-edged polite suburbanite 20-something who can’t bring himself to accept his fate and his acceptance to law school at Columbia University. Adam suspects a lifetime spent among the ego-driven in tailored suits will have a serious downside.

Anyway, although he loves her, she doesn’t love him. The tension kicks in when Ryden fails to land the lofty entry-level job she expected at a prestigious New York publishing house. Adam sticks by her. She resists.

The duo of name brand actors steps up to do their bit. A few complications turn into plot points. Then the good guys win and we’re out of there in less than 100 minutes.

Oh, and there are several shameless (and annoying) product placements for an ice cream confection that will remain nameless here.


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