Reality BitesPretty good. I feel bad I never saw this before since I crush on Janeane Garofalo. I think partly because this was the movie my not-quite-girlfriend from that era told me to avoid because she thought it hit too close to home. I'm not sure why, having seen it now.
A little too over-the-top, larger-than-life, instead of a "realistic presentation". It's exaggerated like MTV's The Real World, only movie-sized: the valedictorian who's an artist, and the smart philosophy guy who's an artist, and the closeted gay guy, and the "slut". I felt very little connection to the characters (although I guess I was 27 when the movie came out, not 22, so maybe I don't count as part of that generation). The crowd I hung out with didn't partake in most of their activities; and we certainly weren't production assistants on TV shows and assistant managers at The Gap when we graduated... so, umm, sorry, this whole "real life" schtick didn't really work for me.
Ben Stiller was more a parody of a "dumb" yuppie than a real one. And I don't think the story worked too well by leaving him an ambiguous "good guy, just not the right good guy"--his final line shows him being far too observant about Ethan Hawke's character for the dumb guy who he was supposed to be. And what exactly did Winona Ryder see in Ethan? Five bucks and conversation didn't really seem to be enough. I guess they were supposed to have history, but since he expressed most of his interest in her by avoiding her, I dunno.
On the other hand, I thought the dialogue was really good. It seemed basically every line was clever on one level or another. There are moments when this throws me--nobody is that funny, comes up with the comebacks that fast--but for the most part it's good. Supposedly the actors improv'd a lot of it, but credit to the screenwriter--and I wonder whether Stiller's character wasn't possibly softened given that he directed it.
At the end of the day, I was fairly amused, so yay.
The Full MontyI'm not sure why I rented this. I think maybe the movie rental place showed it as a "good match" based on my other rankings; I don't remember actually hearing anyone recommend it to me. Looking at IMDB it seems well-liked--higher than Reality Bites, for one (box office for RB = $20M, for FM=$45M US alone?). I basically didn't laugh, fast-forwarded through some sections, and thought the plot was mostly tedious and obvious. Hrmm.