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Reality Bites (1994)

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

Director:

Ben Stiller

Writer:

Helen Childress
Reviews
Popularity
4,141 ( 256)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Winona Ryder ... Lelaina Pierce
Ethan Hawke ... Troy Dyer
Janeane Garofalo ... Vickie Miner
Steve Zahn ... Sammy Gray
Ben Stiller ... Michael Grates
Swoosie Kurtz ... Charlane McGregor
Harry O'Reilly ... Wes McGregor
Susan Norfleet Susan Norfleet ... Helen Anne Pierce
Joe Don Baker ... Tom Pierce
Renée Zellweger ... Tami (as Renee Zellweger)
James Rothenberg James Rothenberg ... Rick
John Mahoney ... Grant Gubler
Eric Morgan Stuart Eric Morgan Stuart ... Damien (as Eric Stuart)
Barry Del Sherman ... Grant's Producer (as Barry Sherman)
Chelsea Lagos ... Troy Groupie
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La dura realidad See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$20,982,557

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$33,351,557
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially, the film did not perform as well at the box office as the studio had hoped. In six weeks it grossed $18.3 million, more than the film's $11 million production budget. Bruce Feldman, Universal Pictures' Vice-President of Marketing said, "The media labelled it as a Generation X picture, while we thought it was a comedy with broad appeal". The studio placed advertisements during programs chosen for their appeal to 12- to 34-year-olds and in interviews Ben Stiller was careful not to mention the phrase, "Generation X". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Lelaina: Welcome to the world of the emtionally mature. Maybe you've seen Michael. He lives here.
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Alternate Versions

The Australian print only runs 94 minutes, and most notably actors Kevin Pollak and Jeanne Tripplehorn do not appear. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vale (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Story Of My Life
Written by Mike Ness
Performed by Social Distortion
Courtesy of Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Resonates with me
1 June 2006 | by kmedina518See all my reviews

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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