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Reality Bites (1994)

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



1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Director: Stacy Cochran
Stars: Winona Ryder, Lukas Haas, John C. Reilly


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


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


A comedy about love in the '90s.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 February 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dura realidad  »


Box Office


$11,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ethan Hawke performs "Marriage," by Gregory Corso, who was an intimate friend of Allen Ginsberg and other Beat poet/writers who were in turn friends of Winona Ryder's real-life parents. Corso eventually died in Minnesota, not far from Ryder's hometown of Winona, MN. And in 1985, in Houston, Texas where the movie takes place, feminist poet Hedwig Gorski published her work entitled "Could not get Gregory Corso out of my Car". See more »


When Lelaina totals all of the money she 'earned' from the gas station in her notebook, she sums the amounts as $389.84, when the actual total is $393.97. See more »


Lelaina Pierce: I have to work around here, and, unfortunately, Troy, you are a master at the art of time suckage.
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Spoofs House of Style (1989) See more »


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 »

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User Reviews

Gets better with time
28 November 1999 | by See all my reviews

I loved this movie the first time I saw it, and I enjoy it more with each viewing. It's routinely panned for reasons that I really can't comprehend. It's witty, well-acted, quickly paced. I notice that people don't talk as badly about it anymore. I think it's because "Reality Bites" will be one of the films that future generations will look back on to know a little bit about this time.

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