Post GradOverview -
Ryden Malby (Alexis Bledel) has a master plan. Graduate college, get a great job, hang out with her best friend (Zach Gilford) and find the perfect guy. But her plan spins hilariously out of control when she's forced to move back home with her eccentric family. By the time she lands her dream job, Ryden realizes it's meaningless without the man of her dreams...and the people she loves. Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch (Glee) and Carol Burnett co-star in this offbeat romantic comedy that proves you can still end up on top, even when your life is turned upside-down!
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
'Post Grad' would like you to think it's being hip and edgy by telling the story of a fresh college graduate, who performed at the top of her class, but cannot find a job. These are the days we live in right? With the rock bottom economy, people coming out of college armed with degrees are being turned away in the job market. 'Post Grad' might work if it stuck to that story. Instead, it lures you in with the promise of a fresh look at getting started in today's market, then takes a 180 degree turn and heads full-force into cliché rom-com territory.
Alexis Bledel ('Gilmore Girls') plays Ryden Malby. She's just graduated from college and has her whole life planned out. First thing to do is land a sweet job at the largest publishing house in L.A. For some reason she didn't count on the other 30 people who were also applying for the job. This is the part of the story that has promise: Watching a girl who spent all her times studying and getting good grades get rejected time and time again. Hordes of unemployed people in this country know exactly how this feels. Too often movies portray characters that have cushy jobs, endless amounts of money, and all the time-off they could need. Here Ryden is fighting for a place in the workforce. After she finds out that she won't be getting her dream job,she has to resort to scanning the Help Wanted section.
Adam is Ryden's best friend. Adam is her complete opposite. He has no idea what he wants to do with his life. Does he want to go to law school, or follow his dream of becoming a musician? One thing he does know is that he likes Ryden a lot more than she likes him…and that's where the movie falls apart.
About halfway through, the capable storyline of trying to find a job in troubled economic times is completely overshadowed by shallow rom-com love contrivances. Adam wants Ryden, but Ryden wants the sexy Brazilian man who lives down the street. After the love triangle is introduced, the movie meanders in and out of plot lines, without a single connective thread to pull it all together. From buying coffins at a funeral home, to purchasing stolen belt buckles, to participating a soap box derby race straight out of the 'Little Rascals,' you may find yourself scratching your head at why some of this stuff is included. Bledel's lines are written in the fast-paced, hipster dialogue from the 'Gilmore Girls,' but here it just comes off as trite. Like they tried to mimic the way she talked in the TV show, and just ended up copying the words but none of the feeling.
'Post Grad' is a mess, with its only saving grace being Michael Keaton as Ryden's overly paranoid, but lovable father. A movie about him and his antics would have been far more satisfying and easier to sit through.
The AVC-encoded, 1.85:1 framed 1080p transfer is sharply detailed and looks just about as good as this movie could ever hope for. Fine detail – textures, facial details, and patterns – are all clearly defined and have a decided crispness that makes them pop. Colors are nicely rendered and skin tones never seem to take on the dreaded orange effect (although there are times where skin tends to be a tad brownish and darker). Blacks are even and deep, providing some revealing delineation. As far as technical defects, there are none. I didn't notice any dirt specks or errant source noise. This is a good looking Blu-ray, but it still wouldn't make anybody's lists of top video presentations.
Eek! 'Post Grad's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix leaves a lot to be desired. It's far from an immersive experience. Even busy offices, malls, and the soap box derby don't feature much in the way of surround sound. The cheery soundtrack does bleed into the rear channels, but sound effects don't. Dialogue is clear, if the center channel is turned up a bit, otherwise it comes off soft and at times unclear. This is a decidedly underwhelming mix. I don't expect much from a movie from this genre, but definitely more than we're given here.
Another shameful special features section that resorts to presenting everything in SD, except for the trailers that are provided with it. Also, there's no commentary to be found – probably for the best though.
- Deleted/Alternate Scenes (SD, 14 min) - Ten deleted or extended scenes that serve no purpose. It's easy to see why these scenes were cut from the film. They probably could have cut a bit more. I'm looking at you soap box derby. WTF! Seriously, where did that come from?
- “One Day” Music Video (SD, 3 min) - Jack Savoretti, the writer of the song “One Day,” performs the piece. It's the same song Adam (Zach Gilford) performs in the movie.
- Real Life Advice with Alexis Bledel and Zach Gilford (SD, 4 min) - Some promo fluff of the two leads dispensing information about their own graduation and getting jobs.
- Know Your Strengths: Career Advice (SD, 6 min) - Seeing how the movie spent so little time on the actual horrors of the job market, I can see why this was included. We forgot to finish our thoughts in the movie, so let's stick this little PSA about how to job hunt in the special features.
- How Not to Get a Job (SD, 3 min) - Another PSA that offers ten instructions on what not to do when you're trying to get a job.
- A Guide to Moving Back Home (SD, 3 min) - Anyone else tired of these PSAs? This one focuses on the recent graduate who may have to move back and live with their parents before they get on their feet.
- Dress for Success (SD, 2 min) - A short costume design featurette about the clothes that were worn by the leads and how the clothes represent their individual personalities.
- Find Your Match: The Best Job for You (SD) - A silly interactive game that supposedly gives you the job you should shoot for after you answer a few multiple choice questions.
- What Not to Wear (SD) - An interactive game that allows you to pick from two different choices on what to and not to wear in an office environment.
- 'Post Grad' Confidential (SD, 14 min) - Finally we come to the promotional piece that has interviews from the cast and crew as they're promoting the film.
- (HD) - '(500) Days of Summer,' (Editor's Note: I beg you to watch this instead!) 'Amelia,' 'Whip It!,' 'Jennifer's Body,' 'Aliens in the Attic,' 'Fame,' and 'All About Steve.'
'Post Grad' begins as a promising movie about finding a job in today's grueling job market, but winds up being a meandering, meaningless romantic comedy that never approaches a cohesive story structure. It's a rental at best, but my suggestion would be to save your time and money and skip it.
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