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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
2,243 ( 240)
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:

Reality Bites See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,113,050, 20 February 1994

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

Principal photography lasted 42 days. See more »

Goofs

When Vicki and Lelaina return to their apartment after the car accident, when she's walking up the steps Janeane Garofalo has sweat patches under her arm; when she gets inside they have disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Lelaina: He's so cheesy, I can't watch him without crackers.
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

References Today (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Morenaza
Written by Maldita Vecindad Y Los Hijos Del Quinto Patio
Performed by Written by Maldita Vecindad Y Los Hijos Del Quinto Patio
Courtesy of BMG Mexico
See more »

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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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