Alexis Bledel’s big blue eyes and dimpled chin might be adorable, but they’re not nearly enough to save Post Grad from cliché-ridden mediocrity. Bledel is Ryden Malby, a freshly minted college graduate determined to procure a position at a fancy publishing house in Los Angeles. During a job interview Ryden talks about her passion for books, culminating in an obvious Holden Caulfield name-check and an unconvincing antidote about reading Charles Bukowski as a 13-year-old. (I’d love to hear Bledel, possessor of an uncommonly wholesome demeanor and pristine appearance, read from Tales of Ordinary Madness.)
Of course, Ryden doesn’t get her dream job (nor any other despite due diligence), which means she has to move back in with her family, played here by Michael Keaton (as the goofy, overbearing dad), Jane Lynch (mom) and Carol Burnett (garish, death-obsessed grandma).
While cute and supposedly smart, Ryden remains single despite the presence of her longtime best friend (Zach Gilford), a handsome and talented (he fronts a Rock band when he’s not being accepted to an Ivy League law school) guy whose affections have long gone unrequited. Of course, this being strictly Hollywood formula, things work out in the end as Ryden learns to give equal attention to her personal and professional life.
Vicky Jenson’s first full-length non-animated directorial effort — she previously co-directed Shrek and Shark Tale — isn’t sure if it wants to be a romantic coming-of-age tale or a kooky family comedy. The result is a genre mash-up that halfheartedly apes everything from The Family Stone and the Vacation movies to Reality Bites and Say Anything. Grade: C-
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