ELEMENTARY ‘POST GRAD’
WITH THIS ROMANTIC COMEDY, ROMANCE IS PREDICTABLE AND COMEDY CAN’T RAISE A CHUCKLE
THEY USED TO believe that mixing blood lines produced abominations. That theory finds validation in “Post Grad,” the unbearable issue of a forced mating between “Gilmore Girls” winsome comedy-drama and “Little Miss Sunshine” eccentric-family shenanigans.
“Gilmore” alum Alexis Bledel stars as new college graduate Ryden Malby, forced to move back home after her dream job in publishing goes to her hated college rival (Catherine Reitman, daughter of “Ghostbusters” director Ivan Reitman). “Books are all I know, everything I love,” Ryden tells us, although we never see her reading or hear her express a thought that couldn’t have been culled from Lifetime Television.
Although we don’t expect “Post Grad” to be unpredictable, it’s somewhat depressing when the movie is only
before revealing its ending, which is what happens when Ryden introduces us to her “best friend since freshman year,” cute, guitar-strumming Adam (Zach Gilford), who can’t decide whether to attend Columbia University law school or to become a Jason Mraz-like singer-songwriter. The earliness of Adam’s appearance makes the forced delay of the couple’s inevitable romantic hookup more annoying than usual.
Despite the twentysomething characters and a down-to-the-bra near-sexual encounter between Ryden and her theoretically hot Brazilian infomercial-director neighbor (Rodrigo Santoro), the movie seems aimed at tween girls about a decade away from postcollege life. Why else is the story so schizophrenically divided between Ryden’s desire for independence and the tug of life at home with the supposedly lovable but in fact intolerable “characters” of the Malby household?
Carol Burnett is grandma, who arrives at Ryden’s graduation with her oxygen tank and a noisy bag of Cheetos; Bobby Coleman is little brother, whose slapstick soapbox derby race pads the film to its patience-trying 89 minutes; and Michael Keaton is a mister-fixer-upper dad. (You can almost see the thought bubble hovering over Keaton’s head: “I used to be Batman, now I’m married to Jane Lynch.”) Near the end of the story, Keaton utters what could come to be regarded as the direst threat in movie history: “From now on, it’s Malby time.”
Pointless and unfocused and coated with a sugar glaze of nonstop pop songs that fails to hide the failure of the recipe, “Post Grad” was directed by Vicky Jenson and written by Kelly Fremon, which demonstrates that female filmmakers don’t necessarily have an advantage over other artists in creating good roles for women.
Foot massage in aisle four: Alexis Bledel and Zach Gilford provide the love interest in the romantic comedy “Post Grad.”