Directed by Vicky Jenson. Starring Alexis Bledel, Zach Gilford, Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch, Bobby Coleman, Carol Burnett, Rodrigo Santoro, Catherine Reitman. (2009, PG-13, 89 min.)
REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Aug. 21, 2009
Bland to the point of pointlessness, Post Grad follows the inane romantic and career highs and lows of perky optimist Ryden Malby (Bledel) as she burrows, ferretlike, into and out of the job market while surrounded by the type of pseudo-kooky nuclear family usually relegated to Disney Channel movies or upbeat Lifetimers. Co-produced by Ivan Reitman, who should know better, and directed with an utter absence of style by Shrek's Jenson, this is the very definition of cookie-cutter filmmaking, a strange hybrid of subgenres (post-teen comedy, oddball family outing) that brings to mind nothing so much as elements of The Devil Wears Prada and Little Miss Sunshine fused together and then stripped of anything that might make the final product even remotely unique, satisfying, or borderline interesting. It's milk-and-cookies all the way, as the eternally cheerful Ryden sees her post-collegiate dream job at a Los Angeles publishing house snatched away by her longtime nemesis (Reitman) and ends up working for Pop (Keaton) at his mall-based luggage outlet. Her love life fares little better. Although best-friend-without-benefits Adam (Gilford) – himself torn between becoming a singer-songwriter or a lawyer (!) – is clearly the way to go for a character as stultifyingly dull as Ryden, she manages a fling with the Brazilian hunk and infomercial director next door (Santoro) before realizing the error of her ways and heading in the direction of Mr. Right. No one in the cast, not even the great Carol Burnett, makes much of an impression in a film that virtually defines the word "unnecessary," but it does manage to pull double duty as one heck of a sleep aid.