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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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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?


Janeane Garofalo and Ethan Hawke are the only main actors not to subsequently appear on an episode of Friends (1994). See more »


When Vickie is writing in her notebook, she writes the date as being September 26. A few scenes later, Lelaina is speaking with Michael in his office and his computer has the date as being September 21. See more »


Vickie: Sometimes I get that not-so-fresh feeling.
See more »


Featured in Planet of the Apes: Rule the Planet (2001) See more »


Written by Lisa Loeb
Performed by Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories
Produced by Juan Patino
See more »

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User Reviews

Reality or not?
13 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

I rented this movie knowing it wasn't really a comedy but a drama about the life of people in their early twenties in the 90's. What pushed me to rent it was the fact that many people qualified this film as horrible, but many other people loved this film and were talking about it like it was the most realistic thing ever.

Let's face it. I'm not going to pretend to know what it's like to be a teenager/young adult in the 90's since I was 9 years old when this movie came out. However, I think I have a good enough judgement to tell if this movie was realistic or not based on my personal experiences.

This movie isn't specially about the 90's, it's about "becoming an adult" and all it implies. It's about a cast of characters who hesitate between forever living what they were told is a pointless life [always having fun and bumming around] and becoming like the adults that they have criticized so much in their childhood. This, by itself, is very realistic, because it's a problem that many young people face even today. The main character Lalaina represents this fact completely. She's shooting a video of her friends as they struggle to find themselves in this world that was built by baby-boomers that they can't relate to. Also, she's a very clean-cut and hard working person, yet she hangs out with her friends who are more of the "rebellious" type.

This movie tries to represent the "alternative" crowd. Each character in this movie has an "alternative" as well as a "conformist" side, which is very strange. By example, you have a female character who wears vintage clothes and lives in a typical artsy room but works at the gap. This is another side of what was mentioning earlier. As young adults, they're straying away from the whole "alternative-ness" of their teenage years. This is something I've seen among people I know as well, and that I personally dislike. I guess it's something very typical of our era as well as the 90's.

What I found unrealistic in this movie was that the characters seem a bit cliché sometimes. Sure, I've seen people like that. But the personalities in the movie are too simplified. By example, there's the guy who always is slacking around doing nothing because he feels that having a full-time job until you retire is like wasting your life. Okay, but what else? What type of person is this guy, really? Also.. Each of the characters seem to act the way they do because they come from broken homes, which isn't very realistic in my opinion... The video that the main character has made is supposed to make their viewers know her friends and herself, but we don't really get to know them by watching the entire movie.

Overall, I thought it was an enjoyable movie. I liked the atmosphere of it. It also wasn't always predictable. I gave this movie a 7 because I liked it even though I disliked some of it's aspects.

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