I've always felt a companionship with Alexis Bledel
due to her seven season stint as Rory Gilmore on the sorely missed "Gilmore Girls
." I often imagined myself strolling through the Stars Hollow gazebo with Rory and her oh-so-cool mom Lorelai (Lauren Graham
) before settling in for a night on their couch, rambling off sarcastic pop culture references at about 912 words a minute.
Now with the release of her new movie "Post Grad
" Alexis and I have even more to bond over. I'm in the same situation as her character Ryden Malby, who is a recent college grad who failed to secure her dream job and is now stuck living back home with her parents while trying to figure out plan B in this wonderful economy (really, did the world have to implode right as we graduate?)
Seeing a movie that pretty much puts my life up on the big screen didn't seem very appealing (I skipped the similar themed "Adventureland
" when it came out just two weeks before my graduation date). However, I figured maybe I could learn something from Ryden's efforts. I begrudgingly bought a ticket to find out if the film would capture the anxiety of an unknown future…or be yet another addition to the vast wasteland of mindless, teenage girl movies. (Warning: spoilers ahead!!)
Despite her solid resume including three big internships (I've got you beat Ryden, I'm on number four!) there's a few early signs that foreshadow Ryden's judgment might not be so top notch after all. Five minutes in Ryden starts apartment hunting under the impression that her new salary will pay for a spacious downtown Los Angeles loft. Even if she did land the job, an entry level position could never support this place. More importantly, she is too blind to realize she's in love with her best (and, well, only) friend Adam who continuously (and pathetically) confesses his love for her. It doesn't take four years of higher education to figure out how this relationship will end up.
Image © Fox Searchlight
But until true love emerges Ryden must ditch the college uniform of sweatpants and hoodies for gross business clothes. Ryden's interview at her dream job, publishing firm Happerman & Browning, lasts all of about 30 seconds (no interview is that short). She loses the job to Jessica Bard, her nemesis/college valedictorian (do those even exist?) Adam of course comes to the rescue to cheer her up, forcing Eskimo Pies down her throat, because he believes the desert fixes all of life's problems. Well that's great Adam, but I'm allergic to chocolate.
After this Ryden spends several scenes hunched over her laptop looking for new jobs, although there's no mention of partaking in the tedious, awful, fake, boring process that is writing cover letters. She does however have to bullshit her way through a few interviews, and the film captures the awkwardness of wanting to scream "BECAUSE I NEED A JOB!!!" when asked why you're the right person for a position.
Ryden also gets stuck attending a party where she is forced to hear all classmates gloat about their new jobs or grad school plans. I can attest that this also sucks (although most of my friends were smart enough to take a victory lap fifth year). This conversation is even worse when taking place at family parties. "I'm interviewing," Ryden responds. Her true sentiment of, "I thought I'd be doing something amazing by now…or at least something," hit home pretty hard. But clearly the 14 year-olds in the theater couldn't feel the sting.
I hoped the movie would end with Ryden still unemployed, realizing that work isn't everything in life, these things take time, and patience is important. Nope. One day she gets a call from the publishing firm that Jessica's been fired, and they would absolutely love for her to take over right away! No, the company doesn't want a second interview! No, they don't want to speak to any references! They just want her! Isn't life grand?! That's crap…I'm still waiting for that phone call.
After a week Ryden fiiiinally discovers her love for Adam and quits the job to surprise him in New York (where he is now attending grad school). What the hell, Ryden? Couldn't you have thought this out a little better? Why not try calling Adam before quitting and flying out there? Or visit him on a weekend? Or see if the company could find a position for you in their New York office? Sane decision making never comes into play because this is a standard romantic comedy where impulse is always rewarded. Unfortunately we don't all have boyfriends in New York to go shack up with (…and I'm pretty sure universities have rules against friends living in each other's dorms).
The final message the film hopes to spread is love conquers all. However, if I learned anything it's to take any job that pays well. That's the only reason I can think of as to why comedy greats Carol Burnett
, Jane Lynch
, Michael Keaton
, and Fred Armisen
are all stuck slumming it up in this dud as Ryden's family. Any readers out there looking for a personal assistant? I still need a job!
Story by Michael Mellini
Starpulse contributing writer