Friday, August 19, 2011

You say, "Stay"

Reality Bites
Director: Ben Stiller
Cast: Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo
Released: February 18, 1994

I knew Ben Still was in this movie and that he had directed movies (like Tropic Thunder) before, but I didn't know he had directed this one. Of course, this was pre-There's Something About Mary, so nobody knew who he was back then.

The movie follows Lelaina (Ryder) and her friends, recent college grads trying to find their place in the "real world" (otherwise known as Houston). Boy, am I'm glad I wasn't in my early twenties in the nineties! What a bunch of  self-centered emo whiners! Oh, wait, I think I just described every early twenty-something throughout the course of history.

Lelaina, who was the valedictorian at her college, has scored a job as a producer for a TV show hosted by Frasier and Nile's dad, but gets fired and has to lower herself to a more pedestrian job. She's living in an apartment with her best friend Vickie (Garafalo) who is a bit of a slut (well, it's true!) and is worried she might have AIDS (oh, remember how popular AIDS were in the nineties - they even had an entire episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 dedicated to it!) Lelaina's other friend, Troy, also lives with them and he gets jealous after Lelaina goes on a date with Michael (Stiller), a video executive because, you see, Troy has feelings for her, but won't admit that he does. Lelaina also has feelings for him, but won't admit that she does and keeps dating Michael to make Troy jealous and Troy dates other women to make Lelaina jealous. Oh, the complications of love triangles!

Lelaina wants to make a documentary about her and her friends' life and always has a camera with her capturing moments of their everyday life. Michael tells her that he's found somebody in New York who's interested in buying the documentary, but when she sees an advanced screening of her footage, they've changed everything around and made it into a bit of a joke. This is where the movie gets its title because the documentary was called "Reality Bites".

This movie is probably most famous for introducing "Stay" by Lisa Loeb to the world. Who doesn't love that song? I never hear it on the radio anymore, but everytime I hear it on my iPod, I always have to sing along. I kept waiting to hear it in the movie, but they don't play it until the end credits...and it's the second song they play during the credits!

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