Alexis Bledel has fallen on some rather hard times as an actress in that everything she has done outside of Gilmore Girls merely proves that the only role she’s capable of is Rory Gilmore. In Post Grad, the character’s name is Ryden Malby, but it might as well be the same as it is nothing more than a reprisal of her Rory Gilmore persona: Intelligent, well-read (who reads Post Office by Bukowski anymore?), and clueless about her power over men.
The story already begins on an unfavorable note being that someone decided it would be a good idea to have Ryden tell you everything about herself and her life on a vlog. She then instant messages her best friend Adam (Zach Gilford) to meet her and her family for a post-graduation lunch since his father can’t make it and his mother is dead, facts that are tactfully pointed out by Ryden’s dad Walter (played by a particularly annoying Michael Keaton). The opening is initially forgiveable; writer Kelly Fremon creates some interesting relationships that parlay into key thematic (though played out) elements. It is what comes later that makes the film fair game for the sell pile of your DVD collection.
The entire premise of Post Grad is based on Ryden’s intense lust for a job at a publishing house in Los Angeles, the name of which evades me, but is umimportant because it is fictional, much like the notion of a publishing house existing in LA. Though she has no experience, her previous internships at Penguin (which also doesn’t exist in LA), make her believe she has a real chance at getting the position. So confident is she, in fact, that she writes a three thousand dollar check for an apartment in Century City just hours before her interview.
Predictably, Ryden does not get the job after a number of hiccups prevent her from arriving, specifically a car accident, and, even once she gets there, the obvious disinterest of the interviewer is explained when the next applicant, Ryden’s college rival Jessica, enters the room with some sort of previous reference, proving that it is who you know that matters.
Completely floored by the concept that she isn’t going to be doing what she wants after how hard she worked the past four years (or eight, depending on how you look at it), Ryden desultorily pursues other leads and finally lands a short-lived job as a production assistant, courtesy of her hot neighbor (Rodrigo Santoro) who directs informercials for a living. This romantic interlude sends Adam, who tries his best to accept their platonic friendship, into a jealous rage that prompts him to cut her out of his life and move to New York to go to law school. Fucking drama queen.
Anyway, it’s easy to guess, at this point, that everything ends up going smoothly for Ryden, even if it wasn’t the exact mental picture she had originally envisioned for herself. Translation: Apart from a few clever lines and some slapstick moments (Carol Burnett‘s influence maybe?), Post Grad is in the same forgettable vain as recent throwaway movies like New in Town or The Proposal. One of the main reasons Fox Searchlight was probably willing to distribute is that they could see the relatability of the film to an audience of recent graduates. Everyone can identify with not finding a job at a time when the economy is a fucking piece of shit and having a college degree in something like English literature doesn’t really mean that much anymore.