6.6/10
41,045
149 user 50 critic

Reality Bites (1994)

Trailer
2:12 | Trailer

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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
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
See full technical specs »
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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

Troy's hair in different shots while talking to Michael outside of the club. See more »

Quotes

Lelaina: I just don't understand why things just can't go back to normal at the end of the half hour like on the Brady Bunch or something.
Troy Dyer: Well, 'cause Mr. Brady died of AIDS. Things don't turn out like that.
See more »

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 Half in the Bag: 10 Cloverfield Lane and Me Him Her (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

When You Come Back To Me
Written by Karl Wallinger
Performed by World Party
Produced by Karl Wallinger
Courtesy of Ensign Records Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Breaks my heart every time
16 July 2000 | by craigboneySee 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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