Post Grad (2009)

Post Grad
Director: Vicky Jenson
Writer: Kelly Fremon Craig
Cast: Alexis Bledel, Zach Gilford, Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch, Bobby Coleman, Carol Burnett, Rodrigo Santoro, Catherine Reitman, Mary Anne McGarry, J.K. Simmons, Craig Robinson, Fred Armisen
Seen on: 28.5.2021

Content Note: (critical treatment of) racism

Plot:
Ryden (Alexis Bledel) is just about to graduate and she knows exactly how things are going to go from there. She will get her dream job at a big publishing house and live in an awesome apartment. She has both lined up already. Her best friend Adam (Zach Gilford) is less sure about what to do, but he knows that he would like to romance Ryden, but she is not interested. But after Ryden does not get the job, and she has to move back home with her eccentric family (Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch, Bobby Coleman, Carol Burnett), she needs to rethink her life entirely. Maybe with the help of her hot neighbor David (Rodrigo Santoro)?

Post Grad is not a great film, but it is cute and funny and light. There’s really nothing weighing it down, not even particular emotional depth. If you want to just float through 90 minutes, it’s the film you should choose.

The film poster showing Ryden (Alexis Bledel) wearing a graduation cap askew, looking worried.

I have to admit that the opening scene of the film was a little bit irritating, through no fault of the film’s. We just see Ryden log into her myspace account and do a vlog and you suddenly realize how much social media has changed in the last 12 years, even though the rest of the film doesn’t actually feel that old.

But once I got over this, the film really is smooth sailing all the way. Ryden’s big problem isn’t actually that much of a problem. I mean, it definitely is to her and necessitates a complete change of her life plans. but as the audience, we can watch her and nod, knowing that Ryden doesn’t actually know hardship and she will get through this with ease. And we’re proven right, about her and everyone else. Even when David, who is a director, has to shoot a racist ad and take racist notes from the producer, the film resolves all of this so quickly, you barely have time to register that things are uncomfortable. And it’s the same with all the other problems in the film: they are solved before they really arise.

Ryden (Alexis Bledel) sitting on the bed with her best friend Adam (Zach Gilford) while he plays the guitar.

The biggest issue was maybe with Adam’s (unrequited, at first) love for Ryden. He never oversteps and deals with the fact that Ryden is not into him like that, but he also keeps reminding her that he would totally like to kiss her. That’s not really acceptance of Ryden’s No, and in the end he is being proven right. In another film, this kind of romance would have felt unbearable, but the pull it off here because everything is just so easy.

The biggest draw of the film, though, is Ryden’s family, with an electric Michael Keaton and a very dry Jane Lynch. Really, I was half considering fast-forwarding through Ryden’s storyline to just watch them.

I can understand if you are weirded out by the emotional lightness of the film, and usually I prefer films that actually make me feel something myself. But in this case, I just saw it at exactly the right moment. If you, too, are looking for something simple and nice, go for it.

Ryden (Alexis Bledel) writing applications.

Summarizing: quite literally cinematic fluff.

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