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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.

Director:

Ben Stiller

Writer:

Helen Childress
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Popularity
3,825 ( 31)
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 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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite Lelaina's anti-consumerism speech at the beginning, this film has a considerable amount of product placement and product references in the dialogue, including Gap, BMW, Diet Coca-Cola, Pringles, 7-Eleven (its Big Gulp drinks are seen throughout the film), Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza, Evian, Camel Straight cigarettes, Snickers, McDonalds (Troy mentions a Quarter Pounder with Cheese as one of life's pleasures), Whole Foods Market, Continental Airlines, Cocoa Puffs, Infiniti (Nissan USA luxury automobile division), Ford Motor Company, and Minute Maid. 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 Pierce: I have to work around here, and, unfortunately, Troy, you are a master at the art of time suckage.
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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 Howard Stern on Demand: Lisa Loeb & Sister (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Arise
Written by Max Cavalera, Andrea Kisser, Igor Cavalera, Paulo Jr.
Performed by Sepultura
Courtesy of Roadrunner Records
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User Reviews

 
the film of the 90s Grunge generation
11 May 2013 | by HelenMarySee all my reviews

I love this film; Ethan Hawke is brilliant and really does sum up the 'searcher' generation, the new Beat. Grunge in this film is typified by over-intelligent, under-achieving, dope induced philosophical musings and desire to make a difference but not knowing how to go about it in world where young people feel anonymous and disenfranchised and dealing with modern day issues; coming out, HIV tests, unemployment, friendship, love and life aspirations.

I think this is perfectly cast, loads of familiar faces, and I think this is my favourite role of Winona Ryder. Steve Zahn and Janeane Garofalo were great and the comedy, and Ben Stiller (who also directed) is good despite being an atypical role for him, and is one of his best roles. Ethan Hawke, however, is the deserved lead in this snapshot of reality, and a showcase of his band/singing. This is a well cast and performed ensemble cast production, and there are truisms left right and centre; it speaks to the heart & soul and is relevant to the 90s generation and I'm sure has relevance to later decades and has - IMHO - aged well. It is super-funny, touching and enlightening; something for everyone who's young enough and old enough. Even after 20 years it's one of my favourite films and watching it gives me such a warm feeling.


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