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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.

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3,811 ( 130)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Lelaina Pierce
... Troy Dyer
... Vickie Miner
... Sammy Gray
... Michael Grates
... Charlane McGregor
Harry O'Reilly ... Wes McGregor
Susan Norfleet ... Helen Anne Pierce
... Tom Pierce
... Tami (as Renee Zellweger)
James Rothenberg ... Rick
... Grant Gubler
Eric Morgan Stuart ... Damien (as Eric Stuart)
... Grant's Producer (as Barry Sherman)
... 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 »

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 February 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dura realidad  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ethan Hawke was at this point unhappy with the direction his career was taking; the actor recalled that his career was in a lull after the buzz from Dead Poets Society (1989) had faded. Winona Ryder was a fan of his work and stipulated in her contract that her involvement in the film was dependent on Hawke starring opposite her. She chose Hawke after seeing him in A Midnight Clear (1992). See more »

Goofs

Troy takes his guitar off twice before going on a break at the club. See more »

Quotes

Troy Dyer: He's the reason Cliffs Notes were invented.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Awkward.: Reality Does Not Bite (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Road to Nowhere
Written by David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison and Tina Weymouth
Performed by Talking Heads
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User Reviews

 
Breaks my heart every time
16 July 2000 | by See all my reviews

I really do have difficulty with the short shrift this film seems to get. Admittedly, Ethan Hawke's appaling "I'm nuthin'" doesn't really do the film any favours but that asides, Reality Bites always has me in tears. The basic storyline, centering on a love that both people know exist but due to circumstance and fear has not manifested is so universal, and so well done. The 'my life is falling apart' endless phone calls to the psychic 0900 number part is so tragi-comedic, and the entire movie is full of continuous great scenes. Admittedly, being a single 25 year old white male who originally saw the film a few years back, I was probably caught at the optimal time for it to have an emotional impact, but I find myself going back to it again and again. Winona has never been better, and Janeane Garofalo is stunning as the low self-esteem serial one night stander with the AIDS paranoia and over-full shag book. Also, great cameos from the Soul Asylum geezer and Evan Dando's stunning turn during the end credits add to the film. Overall a stunning film, admittedly which will probably only be appreciated by a relatively narrow demographic.


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