Legacy Review

Reality Bites (1994)

I had a hard time connecting with this one. Its concerns feel so dated, and its slacker mentality feels so hypocritical and off-putting. Ben Stiller’s character is supposed to be the corporate loser, but he seems so much more interesting and composed than greaseball misanthrope Ethan Hawke.

Then again, there’s the cast and their chemistry which almost make up for all that. Winona and Ethan are pure charisma, with palpable romantic tension. There’s a scene of dancing to “My Sharona” in a gas station that I’ve watched on YouTube 10 times in the past day.

Ultimately, it still left a slightly bitter taste on my tongue, though I wouldn’t be opposed to revisiting it someday.

Is It Good?

Nearly Good (4/8)

Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.

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2 replies on “Reality Bites (1994)”

I’m not really sure why, but this one works pretty well for me. The narrow focus on the psyches of a group of friends is relatable, and I do kinda think we’re supposed to find Stiller’s character more compelling than she does. On my latest watch, I was surprised by how hard the movie goes at Troy; it’s always been the conventional wisdom that she chose the wrong guy, but I think maybe the movie is aware of that? And that makes it more interesting for me.

Still, as ‘Gen X-defining movies’ go, Singles is definitely better… if only for the music and Bridget Fonda.

Yeah, I’m definitely higher on Singles than this one. I might also put Kicking & Screaming in “Gen X-defining movies,” which I would put at the top of that heap if you count it, and I’m sure you would too.

Hoping to watch this one again sometime.

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