MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 54 this week

Reality Bites (1994)

6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 31,156 users  
Reviews: 142 user | 42 critic

Generation X Graduates face life after college with a filmmaker looking for work and love in Houston.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 23 titles
created 27 May 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 15 Nov 2012
 
list image
a list of 29 titles
created 25 Mar 2013
 
a list of 44 titles
created 15 May 2013
 
a list of 29 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Reality Bites" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Reality Bites (1994)

Reality Bites (1994) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Reality Bites.

User Polls

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Singles (1992)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A group of twenty-something friends, most of whom live in the same apartment complex, search for love and success in grunge-era Seattle.

Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: Bridget Fonda, Campbell Scott, Kyra Sedgwick
Mermaids (1990)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An unconventional single mother relocates with her two daughters to a small Massachusetts town in 1963, where a number of events and relationships both challenge and strengthen their familial bonds.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Cher, Bob Hoskins, Winona Ryder
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A small town prepares for the homecoming of superstar Roxy Carmichael, as does a young outsider, who believes Roxy is her mother.

Director: Jim Abrahams
Stars: Winona Ryder, Jeff Daniels, Laila Robins
Heathers (1988)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A girl who half-heartedly tries to be part of the "in crowd" of her school meets a rebel who teaches her a more devious way to play social politics; killing the popular kids.

Director: Michael Lehmann
Stars: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Bride-to-be Finn Dodd hears tales of romance and sorrow from her elders as they construct a quilt.

Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse
Stars: Winona Ryder, Ellen Burstyn, Anne Bancroft
Boys (1996)
Mystery | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Patty Vare falls off a horse and is found unconscious by prep school student John Baker. He takes her to his dorm. As he quickly discovers, she is hiding from something. For John this ... See full summary »

Director: Stacy Cochran
Stars: Winona Ryder, Lukas Haas, John C. Reilly
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s.

Director: James Mangold
Stars: Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Clea DuVall
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Harry O'Reilly ...
Susan Norfleet ...
...
...
Tami (as Renee Zellweger)
James Rothenberg ...
...
Eric Morgan Stuart ...
Damien (as Eric Stuart)
...
Grant's Producer (as Barry Sherman)
...
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 February 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dura realidad  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$20,982,557 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Heche and Parker Posey, virtual unknowns at the time, all auditioned for the role of Vickie Miner, which eventually went to Janeane Garofalo. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Lelaina: You've been waiting for this since the day we met.
Vickie: Oh, who told you that, Your psychic partner?
See more »

Connections

References Schoolhouse Rock! (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

My Sharona
Written by Doug Fieger, Berton Averre
Performed by The Knack
Produced by Mike Chapman
Re-Mixed by Dave Jerden
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under licence from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
It doesn't so much bite as it does nip
3 April 2005 | by (East Anglia, UK) – See all my reviews

Any film striving to chart the up-to-the-minute details of twenty-something life in 1994 was bound to feel a tad outdated the second that 1995 had found its cultural niche. And true, 'Reality Bites' was clearly trying so hard to be hip and with the times that there are points when its characters can seem very distant now (there can't be too many people today who'd consider dancing around a gas station like an unrestrained idiot to be a fitting definition of coolness – nowadays viewers will probably be more inclined to identify with the clerk looking on with bemusement in that scene). Nonetheless, the uncertainties that come with entering adulthood and establishing a steady independent life of your own in the real world will always be relevant issues to young people no matter what the era, so any flick that deals with them has a fair chance of striking a chord with such an audience (being a young twenty-something myself, they're certainly hot on my own mind). Sadly, they never amount to much more here than the backdrop for a familiar love triangle yarn, albeit the familiar love triangle yarn as you've never seen it before. Our lead girl still gets torn between two guys, each from a different rung on the social ladder, only this time round it's actually the down-to-earth businessman making a healthy living for himself (Michael) who's an amiable mass of benevolence, and the laid-back young musician struggling to make ends meet (Troy) who acts like an offhand, self-righteous bully for much of his screen time. That the film still expects our sympathies to lie in the usual places regardless and root for Troy simply because he's the underdog is just the slightest bit galling (let's ignore the fact that Leliana, the lucky heroine who has the honour of choosing between them, is something of a whiny, irresponsible brat herself). Perhaps the only thing more fatal than choosing to go with such a wearisome and predictable formula is using characters that don't even comfortably fit it.

Fortunately, 'Reality Bites' does have a number of small redeeming qualities which come along at just the right moments and may make us intermittently forget that this is all going to be part of something very hollow and routine overall. It's stylish, well-crafted and reasonably entertaining, if you can forgive the occasional patch of cringe-inducing dialogue ("I'm a non-practicing Jew" "Hey, I'm a non-practicing virgin" – dear lord), and Ben Stiller adds life and flair from whichever side of the camera he's on. His debut direction feels surprisingly accomplished, panning the various scenes from a selection of imaginative angles and connecting them together very smoothly, while his character is easily the most likable and understandable of the bunch (too bad he wasn't meant to be). John Mahoney (better known for his role as Martin Crane in the popular sitcom 'Frasier') has a memorable cameo as a disgruntled TV show host, the soundtrack is filled with lots of little audio treats, and the people in the prop department have certainly provided us with plenty of interesting things to look at – it's actually quite fun to watch if you keep your eye out for all the novelty memorabilia that these characters have hoarded; in addition to Michael's beloved Dr Zaius figurine, a Garfield-shaped telephone and a metal 'Charlie's Angels' lunch-box, among others, have made it to the set.

But what really hurts 'Reality Bites' in the end, other than the hackneyed storyline, is just how much depth and substance the protagonists are sorely lacking. Considering that it revolves around a recently-graduated girl determined to demonstrate that she and her friends are more than just shallow Generation X-ers, devoid of any desires that extend beyond having sex and eating pizza, it doesn't exactly do a great deal to convince us otherwise. Most of their time is seemingly devoted to nothing more ambitious than messing around and having spats with each other, while the more serious material, including a subplot which sees Leliana's best friend Vickie awaiting the results of a test for HIV, is downplayed so considerably that you never get the impression that any of them are terribly concerned. The back-stories we hear about rough childhoods of divorced or neglectful parents are equally perfunctory, and the sad fact that Troy's dad is currently dying from prostate cancer is treated very incidentally by the film as a whole - what little is made of it feels more like an emotional blackmail designed to make us feel sympathy for the pretentious Troy than an actual aspect of his character.

It gives us something good every now and then, but overall 'Reality Bites' just isn't strong or satisfying enough to qualify as a coming of age classic (don't even think about comparing it to 'the Graduate', or even 'Risky Business'). While it may go on being fondly-remembered by those who experienced it at the time, on the whole this one feels like it's been rather grounded in 1994, and left with only real claim to fame – and that's that it famously beat 'Pulp Fiction' to the rights to have 'My Sharona' on its soundtrack. With hindsight, it was probably 'Pulp Fiction' who had the last laugh.

Grade: B-


43 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
$400 a week? whiteyfiskman
Pop References seem off by ten years jonesjax
What's really wrong with Troy. BellevueHokie
Gen X flack jrtomasso
Gen X collection... KarlCrys4Ophelia
Ethan Hawke is an idiot teen_wolf
Discuss Reality Bites (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page