In this study of Generation X manners, Lelaina Pierce (Winona Ryder), the valedictorian of her college class, camcords her friends in a mock documentary of posteducation life. Troy Dyer (Ethan Hawke) is her best friend, a perpetually unemployed musical slacker. Vickie Miner (Janeane Garofalo) is a manager at the Gap who worries about the results of an A.I.D.S. test, while Sammy Gray (Steve Zahn) has problems grappling with his sexuality. When Lelaina meets Michael Grates (Ben Stiller), 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 <email@example.com>
I really enjoyed this movie. Looking back in hindsight, I can see the selfishness of the characters, and I have read the complaints about this, but isn't that kind of the whole point of the movie? It's about people talking about not "selling out" while at the same time they ARE "selling out" in many different ways. They (the characters in the movie) are all consumers who satirize the very idea of "consumerism" but refuse to "stoop down to the level" of getting menial jobs to try and pay the bills. The movie defines for me how education isn't everything and from my own experience I have learned that sometimes the "great dream" (of being a writer, artist, musician, etc.) just doesn't pay the bills and in order to make decent money one may have to go into a field that is not originally their first choice as a means of employment. I remember being young and wistful, with dreams of being an artist, only to have to "settle" for an office job to make ends meet.
The movie does express what life was like for me at the time. I was a naive student with dreams of producing great artistic work, but who learned that what is taught in college as "reality" is not really reality at all. College students are fed with lofty artistic statements and philosophies and are taught to analyze endless aspects of society, ideals, etc., and are taught that "knowledge and education are power" but are not taught that credibility and respect are things which must be earned and that very few people actually start out at the top of the career ladder.
Overall, this continues to be one of my favorite films and I appreciate the myriad of messages that it sends, though they may, at times, be contradictory.
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