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Reality Bites (1994)

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ON DISC
A documentary filmmaker and her fellow Gen X graduates face life after college, looking for work and love in Houston.

Director:

Ben Stiller

Writer:

Helen Childress
Reviews
Popularity
4,253 ( 112)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Winona Ryder ... Lelaina Pierce
Ethan Hawke ... Troy Dyer
Janeane Garofalo ... Vickie Miner
Steve Zahn ... Sammy Gray
Ben Stiller ... Michael Grates
Swoosie Kurtz ... Charlane McGregor
Harry O'Reilly ... Wes McGregor
Susan Norfleet Susan Norfleet ... Helen Anne Pierce
Joe Don Baker ... Tom Pierce
Renée Zellweger ... Tami (as Renee Zellweger)
James Rothenberg James Rothenberg ... Rick
John Mahoney ... Grant Gubler
Eric Morgan Stuart Eric Morgan Stuart ... Damien (as Eric Stuart)
Barry Del Sherman ... Grant's Producer (as Barry Sherman)
Chelsea Lagos ... Troy Groupie
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Storyline

In this study of Generation X manners, Lelaina, the valedictorian of her college class, camcords her friends in a mock documentary of posteducation life. Troy is her best friend, a perpetually unemployed musical slacker. Vickie is a manager at the Gap who worries about the results of an AIDS test, while Sammy has problems grappling with his sexuality. When Lelaina meets Michael, an earnest video executive who takes her homemade video to his MTV-like station, she must decide what she values--the materialism of yuppie Michael or the philosophical musings of Troy. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy about love in the '90s.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language, drug content and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La dura realidad See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$20,982,557

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$33,351,557
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A Troy Dyer attended USC film school with Helen Childress, became a financial consultant in Wisconsin, and sued in 2005 for defamation. Childress claimed Dyer gave her permission to use his name, because he was straight-laced and conservative-the total opposite of the character. The case was settled to "everyone's mutual satisfaction," according to Dyer. See more »

Goofs

Troy's hair in different shots while talking to Michael outside of the club. See more »

Quotes

Lelaina Pierce: Are you religious?
Michael Grates: Um, uh, I guess, uh, I guess I'm, uh, a non-practicing Jew.
Lelaina Pierce: Hey, I'm a non-practicing virgin.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Australian print only runs 94 minutes, and most notably actors Kevin Pollak and Jeanne Tripplehorn do not appear. See more »

Connections

References One Day at a Time (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Turnip Farm
Written by J. Mascis (as J Mascis), Kurt Fedora
Performed by Dinosaur Jr.
Produced by J. Mascis (as J Mascis)
Courtesy of Warner Music UK Ltd./Sire Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

The whiney side of post-80's materialism
21 July 2003 | by jcasetnlSee all my reviews

REALITY BITES isn't without its good moments but it's overshadowed by completely self-absorbed, whiney characters that don't even get what they deserve in the end.

This is often called the definitive Gen-X movie but I couldn't disagree more. Sure, in the early 90's there were plenty of people that moped around, assumed they were misunderstood genuises and thought that society owed them an entry-level job as an Executive VP making $200k per year, but we called them idiots and losers. There was nothing hip about that attitude back then, and why Ben Stiller decided to make a movie about it is beyond me.

Stiller does infuse the film with a certain amount of yuppie hyper-pragmatism but it's potency is diluted by the stiffness of his own one-dimensional character. He's afraid to really challenge the ideas of the main characters with real, thought-provoking arguments (the kind that really teach you how to grow up), for fear of how his intended audience will react. In the end, he is the cliche'd, uncreative, sellout yuppie who's easy to disagree with and label the bad guy.

And that's pretty much true of any of the big, bad and bitter adults that won't let these young, misunderstand morose geniuses spread their wings and reach their potential.

In the end these are just kids that are complaining that they didn't end up like Ferris Bueller. I guess reality bites.


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