out of Five
Running time: 90
Despite its strong comic cast, Post Grad completely fails to deliver on its engaging premise, thanks to poor direction, underdeveloped characters and a badly structured, atrociously written screenplay.
What's it all about?
Directed by Vicky Jenson, Post Grad stars Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) as college graduate Ryden Malby, whose meticulous life plan suddenly goes out the window when she fails to land her dream job at a publishing company. Unemployed and unable to afford her own place, Ryden is forced to move back in with her wacky family, including her madcap-scheme-obsessed father (Michael Keaton), her oxygen-toting, funeral-planning grandmother (Carol Burnett), her constantly upbeat mother (Jane Lynch) and her not-entirely-normal younger brother (Bobby Coleman).
Ryden duly starts looking for a job whilst remaining deliberately oblivious to the fact that her aspiring musician best friend Adam (Zach Gilford) is mooning after her. However, things start looking up when she meets her parents’ sexy Brazilian neighbour David (Rodrigo Santoro), especially when he offers her a job as his assistant.
Alexis Bledel can be almost criminally cute and charming at times but she's badly served here by a script that requires her character to be spoiled, snobbish and spectacularly self-obsessed. Similarly, the script strands its strong comic cast by giving them almost nothing to do – you know you're in trouble when your biggest laugh comes from Michael Keaton telling someone he's just run over their cat.
Sadly, the script's problems don't end there. The characters are underdeveloped, the dialogue is unimaginative and extremely dull (Craig Robinson probably ad-libbed his one funny line as a coffin salesman), whilst the structure is all over the place, introducing and dropping characters at random (J.K. Simmons gets two scenes as Adam's philandering dad) and failing to adequately set up or pay off its big emotional moments.
Perhaps the film's biggest crime is its wasted potential – the premise is particularly resonant in these recession-ridden times and yet the story is the worst kind of fantasy, wish-fulfilment rubbish. On top of that, there's zero chemistry between Bledel and Gilford, so the ending is toe-curlingly awful and fails to convince on several different levels.
Post Grad is a badly written, poorly directed and frequently excruciating comedy-drama that squanders both its talented cast and its potentially interesting premise. One to avoid.