IMDb > Reality Bites (1994)
Reality Bites
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Reality Bites (1994) More at IMDbPro »

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Reality Bites -- Ben Stiller, Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo and Steve Zahn star in this smart, insightful and hilarious comedy that looks at life, love and the pursuit of gainful employment.  This irreverent look at the harsh realities of life after college captures the misadventures of Lelaina (Ryder), an aspiring TV production assistant, and her relationships with her sarcastic roommate, Vickie (Garofalo), friends Sammy (Zahn) and Troy (Hawke) and an ambitious video executive, Michael (Stiller). Now, in its 10th anniversary, this is truly a comedic and cultural touchstone that encapsulates an era like no other.
Reality Bites -- Trailer for this coming of age comedy


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6.6/10   36,760 votes »
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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Helen Childress (written by)
View company contact information for Reality Bites on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 February 1994 (USA) See more »
A comedy about love in the '90s.
A documentary filmmaker and her fellow Gen X graduates face life after college, looking for work and love in Houston. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
to think I once felt guilty for being a little disappointed... See more (144 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Ben Stiller 
Writing credits
Helen Childress (written by)

Produced by
Danny DeVito .... producer
Bill Finnegan .... supervising producer (as William Finnegan)
Wm. Barclay Malcolm .... executive producer
Sheldon Pinchuk .... supervising producer
Michael Shamberg .... producer
Stacey Sher .... executive producer
Lori-Etta Taub .... associate producer
Cinematography by
Emmanuel Lubezki (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Lisa Zeno Churgin  (as Lisa Churgin)
John Spence 
Casting by
Francine Maisler 
Production Design by
Sharon Seymour 
Art Direction by
Jeff Knipp 
Set Decoration by
Maggie Martin 
Costume Design by
Eugenie Bafaloukos 
Makeup Department
Claude Díaz .... hair stylist
Deborah K. Larsen .... makeup artist (as Deborah Larsen)
Peter Savic .... hair designer
Donna Spahn .... hair stylist: Houston
Marja Webster .... key hair stylist
Marja Webster .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Bill Finnegan .... unit production manager (as William Finnegan)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Larson .... second assistant director
Keri L. McIntyre .... first assistant director
Allan Wertheim .... first assistant director
Art Department
Jon Aguilar .... assistant property master
Michael Armani .... set designer
Curtis Baruth .... construction coordinator (as Curtis W. Baruth)
Maike Both .... set dresser
Jeffrey Cahill .... carpenter
John Coven .... storyboard artist
Paulette Fox .... scenic painter
Roger L. King .... carpenter
Michael Larkins .... carpenter
Donna Lindholm .... construction runner
Wayne Lindholm .... construction foreman
Wayne Lindholm .... lead carpenter
James Malley .... set dresser
Eric McHugh .... on-set dresser
Andrew Moore .... construction foreman
Timothy O'Brien .... carpenter
Tony Palermo .... property assistant
James Parks .... carpenter
Lynda Reiss .... property master
Francis J. Roix .... carpenter
Amy Skjonsby-Winslow .... art department coordinator (as Amy K. Skjonsby)
Christopher Stull .... assistant art director: Houston
Benners Fox Vail .... lead man
Chris L. Winslow .... lead scenic painter
Sound Department
Rick Alexander .... supervising re-recording mixer
Bob Baron .... adr mixer
Dean Beville .... foley editor
James Bolt .... re-recording mixer (as Jim Bolt)
Andy D'Addario .... re-recording mixer
Ezra Dweck .... foley mixer
Judee Flick .... supervising adr editor
Stephen Hunter Flick .... supervising sound editor (as Stephen H. Flick)
Rick Freeman .... foley editor
Walter Gorey .... boom operator: Houston
Dana Gustafson .... assistant sound editor
David Halbert .... boom operator
Stephen Halbert .... sound mixer
Dan Hegeman .... adr editor
R.J. Kizer .... sound editor
Elliott Koretz .... sound editor
David McDonald .... adr recordist (as Dave McDonald)
Michael Mirkovich .... assistant sound editor
Albert Romero .... sound recordist
Catherine Rowe .... foley artist
Joan Rowe .... foley artist
Marvin Walowitz .... sound editor
Paul J. Zydel .... adr mixer: New York (as Paul Vydel)
Wayne Bell .... sound effects (uncredited)
Special Effects by
David Amborn .... special effects
Arnold Peterson .... special effects (as Arnie Peterson)
Visual Effects by
Clayton R. Marsh .... optical line-up
Charles Croughwell .... stunts (as Charlie Croughwell)
Barbara Anne Klein .... stunts
Amanda Rogers .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Kenneth J. Byrnes .... electric rigging crew: Houston
Wayne 'Woody' Cone .... grip
Scott Conn .... electrician: Houston
Larry Crayton .... electrician: Houston
Laurence Cropley .... electrician
Sean Devine .... grip rigging crew: Houston
Joseph Dianda .... key grip
Warren Feldman .... camera loader (as Warren Zev Feldman)
Ray Garcia .... grip rigging crew: Houston
Rodrigo García .... camera operator
Stan Glapa .... camera remote: Houston
Andrew Glover .... electrician
Paris L. Gutierrez .... electric rigging crew: Houston (as Paris Gutierrez)
Larry Huston .... Steadicam assistant
John Lacy .... electrician: Houston (as John Lacey)
Daniel D. Lange .... electrician: Houston
Galen Lange .... electrician: Houston
Paul T. LeBlanc .... video assist operator: Houston (as Paul Le Blanc)
Mark E. Long .... electric rigging crew: Houston
William J. McDevitt .... grip (as William McDevitt)
Michael Wayne Miller .... grip rigging crew: Houston
Dayton Nietert .... gaffer
Michael R. Oddo .... dolly grip
Jeff Orsa .... electrician (as Jeffrey E. Orsa)
Scott Patten .... grip
Jeffrey Pinchuk .... camera production assistant
Rick Raphael .... Steadicam operator (as Frederick R. Raphael)
Van Redin .... still photographer
Kyle Rudolph .... Steadicam operator (as Kyle C. Rudolph)
Daisy Smith .... second assistant camera
Egon Stephan Jr. .... Steadicam assistant (as Egon Stephon)
Harrison Craig Stephens .... electric rigging crew: Houston
Richard Tibbetts .... electrician: Houston
Rick Tiedeman .... Steadicam operator (as Richard P. Tiedeman)
Lynn Troupe .... best boy
Ralph Unger .... electrician: Houston
Joseph Vasquez .... electrician: Houston (as Joe Vasquez)
Derek Voy .... electrician (as Derrick Voy)
Dan Wagner .... first assistant camera
Greg Wardell .... best boy
Georgia Packard .... camera operator (uncredited)
Bubba Sheffield .... key rigging grip (uncredited)
Animation Department
Steve Kirklys .... animator: "Reality Bites" sequence
Casting Department
Kathy Driscoll .... casting associate
Kathryn Eisenstein .... casting associate
Barbara Harris .... adr voice casting
Rich King .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Linda S. Cormany .... wardrobe supervisor: men
Lori Eskowitz-Carter .... wardrobe supervisor: women (as Lori Eskowitz)
Caitlin Shamberg .... wardrobe production assistant
Nancy Steiner .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Gena Bleier .... first assistant editor
Gary Burritt .... negative cutter
Lorisa Francis-Marrero .... post-production coordinator
Herb Hickey .... color timer
Nina Lucia .... second assistant editor
Paul Bronkar .... video colorist (uncredited)
Location Management
Curtis Collins .... location manager
Diana L. Hayes .... assistant location manager
Peter M. Robarts .... location manager
Ellen L. Warren .... location manager: Houston
Music Department
Rupert Coulson .... score recording & mixing
Ron Fair .... executive soundtrack producer: RCA Records
Art Ford .... music consultant
Christopher Notarthomas .... assistant music editor (as Chris Notarthomas)
Greg O'Connor .... composer: additional music
Jennifer Pyken .... music coordinator
Karyn Rachtman .... music supervisor
Mary Ramos .... music coordinator
Andrew Silver .... music editor
Karl Wallinger .... music arranger
Karl Wallinger .... orchestrator
Karl Wallinger .... score engineer
Transportation Department
Hal Davis .... transportation captain
Felician Ghitescu .... driver
Chuck Hanson .... driver (as Charles S. Hanson)
Kenneth L. Hardman .... driver
Ron Hardman .... transportation coordinator
Bob Hendrix .... driver (as Bob L. Hendrix)
William Hogue .... driver (as William M. Hogue)
Gene R. Johnson .... driver
Jim Koenekamp .... driver (as James Koenekamp)
Thomas M. Krigbaum .... driver
Donald H. Lewis .... driver
Stephen Thomas Steele .... driver
Gary D. Watts .... driver
Glenn Knowlton .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Shayn Adamson .... production assistant
Susan Bradley .... title designer
Ruth Britt .... voice talent
Raquel Caballes Maxwell .... assistant production coordinator
Alfred Cervantes .... teamster
Kathy Craft .... craft service: Houston
Ivana di Tommaso .... assistant: William Finnegan
Caroline Digiulio .... production assistant
Holly Dorff .... voice talent
Cynthia Felde .... production assistant: Houston
Primrose Fukuchi .... production accountant
Whitney E. Gates .... assistant: Stacey Sher
Steve Gehrke .... script supervisor (as Steve R. Gehrke)
Pamela Haber .... production assistant: Houston
Phil Hardage .... key set production assistant: Houston (as Philip Hardage)
Steven Hentges .... production assistant: Houston
Ilyse Horowitz .... assistant: Ben Stiller
Uri Horowitz .... production assistant
Maureen Jennings .... production associate
James Jones .... video sequences producer
Aaron Khristeus .... production controller
Carlyle King .... voice talent
Daamen J. Krall .... voice talent (as Daamen Krall)
Gina Landerer .... craft service
Josephine Landerer .... craft service
Adam Loef .... production assistant
Ramiro López .... caterer
Steve Madigan .... production assistant
David McCharen .... voice talent
Linda Olszewski .... production assistant (as Linda O)
Valerie Peterson .... production coordinator (as Valerie Peterson-Beale)
Vernon Scott .... voice talent
Emilie Shirer .... assistant: Winona Ryder
Israel Sifuentes .... production assistant: Houston
Michael Strauss .... production assistant
Becky Thyre .... voice talent
Kieran Woo .... accounting assistant
Jeff Wunderlich .... video graphic design
Homer Jon Young .... production assistant: Houston
Sylvie Forester .... press attache: France (uncredited)
Meredith B. Robinson .... production assistant (uncredited)
Jerry Stiller .... thanks
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for some language, drug content and sensuality
99 min | Australia:94 min (cut)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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 »
Crew or equipment visible: When Lelaina leaves the club where Troy is playing with his band, when he and Michael run out after her, we see her BMW driving away, however if you freeze-frame, the driver is clearly a man.See more »
[assuming the question had no answer at all]
Lelaina:Can you define "irony"?
Troy Dyer:It's when the actual meaning is the complete opposite from the literal meaning.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Conjunction JunctionSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
40 out of 54 people found the following review useful.
to think I once felt guilty for being a little disappointed..., 20 October 2009
Author: dbistolaridis from United States

I first saw this movie when it came out in the theaters and I was a teenager myself, and I remember feeling a just a little shortchanged and even dirty, like I'd been manipulated in a way. I did enjoy it, but the reasons for enjoying it do not hold up today. Watching it again has been fun because looking at it through adult eyes, I am having fun seeing how easy it is to spot the dated qualities and outmoded philosophies that, as one reviewer said, were pretty much defunct by 2000, or maybe even by 1995-6.

And it's not like I was some profound kid who had all this insight how mass media sells these ideas to young people...I bought into the whole "Seattle grunge" thing lock, stock and barrel, I thought guys with stringy unwashed hair and bad attitudes were totally hot, I wore crocheted vests, mood rings, and colored sunglasses with the best of them. So me thinking that something did not ring true must have been because it is pretty obvious that this movie is in essence a failure.

1. The characters-The movie works really hard to make Troy be the better option for Leilana. For teenagers, he was totally sexy to watch on screen and totally swoon worthy, but his utterly obnoxious attitude, his rudeness to Ben Stiller's character, and his bullying just came off as unpleasant at the least, and his philosophy for not working are textbook definitions of a narcissist. Hearing some of his pseudo intellectual discussions are painful and embarrassing, because it is clear that the movie feels that young Gen X'ers embrace and admire such outlooks unequivocally and at face value. And kids were supposed to identify with this person? What an inconsiderate person, to stand up Leilana's father for the job interview and lead her to blame herself, and to embarrass women around him for being attracted to him. Any good friend and countless therapists would advise against having him as a boyfriend. The sad few seconds devoted to his dying father are not enough to redeem him or "understand" him.

Bottom line, if Ethan Hawke was supposed to make this person somewhat sympathetic, he failed, or if he truly was supposed to be this unlikable, then good work.

Leilana did come off as sympathetic and overall was well played by Winona, and her beauty is the one of the few things in this movie with true staying power. Her character does some pretty awful things, though. When her boss rudely rebuffs her video ideas, she humiliates him on air. When her friend offers her a job, she snaps at her. Instead of swallowing her pride and working at the gap for a bit, she resorts to the embarrassing "gas card" scene, which we are supposed to think is cute and rebellious. It is totally unconvincing that a "valedictorian" would ever be so irresponsible and immature, even if she had fallen on bad times.

As for the other two, they are both well acted and likable, but seem to be added on simply to achieve a gritty "90's" edge, like HIV testing and coming out to your parents. Neither subplot is developed enough to give this movie the edge it craves. Both are attractive and funny, and Vicky especially projects a friendliness, sympathy, and is cute as hell in those throwback clothes.

2. The Michael stuff really is a failure. Ben Stiller did a good job acting in this movie and came across as warm and real, but this movie is his work too. I guess a simple plot device would have been to make him more arrogant from the get-go so that he could seem like the "bad guy" but that would have been cheap. Either way, the movie does seem like it's trying to convince you that he either "betrays" Leilana or "doesn't understand her" the way Troy does, and it doesn't work. Those two had a positive chemistry and seemed to complement each other as characters. To make this a true coming of age and growing up story, Leilana should have either chosen Michael, who emphasizes growing up, taking responsibility for your actions, and change for the better, or decided to be on her own for a while to become a more mature person.

3. The biggest failure of this movie, and in my opinion, the most dangerous, is how it elevates Troy's attitude as the noble one above all, as if being narcissistic and self-involved are desirable. Being that he is the hot guy of the movie and that the other characters seem to respond so positively to him, a young teenager is left with the message that this is the "new" way to be and that Michael's responsible and kind persona are "hypocritical" or "selling out." Leaving the theater back in '94, I was enjoying myself thinking about the romance between two good looking and stylish characters, but I couldn't really get into that part as much as I should have. Since I also really wanted to be cool and up to date, I was wondering if I should be acting or living like any of these characters, living in a flat with a guy who mooches off me, sleeping around with strangers, dancing at the gas station, etc. The movies have a lot more influence on young people than one thinks.

In my gut, I felt two things: a-My parents would be horrified if I brought friends like that around and more frighteningly, b-I secretly would agree with them.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Reality Bites (1994)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
This movie was great. TKsOpinion
Was this originally titled 'Reality Sucks?' trickg1
Cute Winona! jolacora
Very bad message for young women... lieben79
in defense of Troy Dyer dark_valkyrie
Song help PLZ ! pushp_addicted
See more »


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