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Post Grad


‘…settles for cheesy observation of lives that seem somewhat lacking in real drama…’

Yikes! I’ll leave the details to the imagination of my regular reader, but there are specific reasons which need not be explained here why a man watches 153 episodes of super-girlie soap Gilmore Girls; Amy Sherman-Palladino’s comfort food story of the rites of passage undertaken by mother Lorelai and daughter Rory is something of a sacred text for many, although the official follow-up, A Day in the Life, doesn’t feel like canon. The demise of Gilmore Girls left a obvious gap in the market for those seeking a what-happened-next, which may have led directly to 2009’s Post Grad, originally touted as a vehicle for Amanda Bynes, but retooled for Alexis Bledel, who played Rory in GG.

Gilmore Girls was about how a bookish young girl named Rory balanced up the demands of her educational career, including her rivalry with another student Paris, with her own family and romantic escapades, navigating between her mother, platonic friend Dean and her interfering grandmother. On the other hand, Post Grad is about how a bookish young girl named Ryden balances up the demands of post-education, including her rivalry with another student Jessica (Catherine Reitman, daughter of the late Ivan who produces here), with her own romantic and family escapades, including her mother (Glee’s Jane Lynch) platonic friend (Zach Gilford) and her interfering grandmother (Carol Burnett). Rory, sorry, Ryden discovers that despite her high opinion of herself, nobody wants to hire sometime to read books all day, and she ends up back home doing menial jobs and working for her father (Michael Keaton) selling illegally sourced buckles while he repairs her damaged car.

Has there ever been a film that’s quite so light and well, air-headed as Post Grad? Kelly Fremon’s script was apparently re-written a dozen or more times, and that’s not hard to believe given the middling results. While Gilmore Girls worked as a home-spun fantasy of life in the backwater of Stars Hollow, Post Grad doesn’t have the wit or comedy of Garden State, and settles for cheesy observation of lives that seem somewhat lacking in real drama. Eventually Rory watches as her little brother wins a soap-box race in her grandmother’s unused coffin with wheels on, sees a spectator eating ice-cream that she associates with her platonic admirer, realises that she’s been Duckie Dale-ing him and rushes off to join him in NYC despite getting her dream job in LA. Problem solved, right?

Not really. Fremont’s script does throw some amusing incidents into the mix, but the home-spun feeling is largely negated by a lack of development; Bledel is perfect casting for an ingenue, but Ryden’s travails don’t offer the same snap as Rory Gilmore’s did, and Vicky Jenson’s film feels far to slavish to the clichés of the teen genre to survive on its own. Fremont has gone on to bigger and better things, but this low-wattage rites of passage is just too bland to appeal to Gilmore Girls fans or other passers-by who might be ensnared…


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  1. I watched the first 3 seasons of GG and then the accumulated forced drama made me stop. I enjoyed it overall, but it just got to be too much for me.
    So I’m definitely not the target audience here….

  2. Never having seen any part of any one of the 153 episodes of GG, I see no reason to bother with this. Glad you took one for the team.

    through some amusing incidents, something to read books

        • He’s got a recurring role as himself in GG. With that King Lear and Tough Guys Don’t Dance, he sure can pick them…

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