To Ryden Malby (Alexis Bledel), there's nothing more humiliating than moving back in with her parents after finishing college. After all, her future looked so promising. She did well in high school, received a coveted college scholarship, and secured an interview at a top L.A. publishing house immediately upon graduation. Unfortunately, her academic nemesis (Catherine Reitman) nabbed that job, and Ryden has had no luck finding employment elsewhere. With few available options, she reluctantly hangs up dreams of a downtown loft and heads home.
Ryden's family is thrilled about her return, but she doesn't share their enthusiasm. Her do-it-yourself dad (Michael Keaton), quirky mom (Jane Lynch), outspoken grandma (Carol Burnett), and peculiar little brother (Bobby Coleman) get on her nerves quickly. The annoyances escalate when her father asks for assistance with the get-rich-quick schemes that he comes up with on a monthly basis. Article continues below
All the while, Ryden's best friend Adam (Zach Gilford) has a crush on her that she doesn't have for him, a sexy Brazilian neighbor named David (Rodrigo Santoro) with whom she does, and a battered car that her father can't seem to fix. As the employment rejections accumulate, Ryden feels like she's going nowhere. Will she survive life as a post grad?
A plain, uninspired film with few redeeming qualities, Post Grad fails on so many levels, you will need a calculator to add them up, and maybe even a personal accountant. Director Vicky Jenson should be grateful that her live-action feature debut received a theatrical release at all and didn't go straight to video shelves. Once word-of-mouth circulates amid the gossipy teenage girls the film targets, however, Post Grad will be out of theaters and on those very shelves, possibly before school starts.
How the movie managed to attract a cast of this stature is a true statement to current economic woes. For actors like Michael Keaton and Carol Burnett to work this film, times must to tough for everyone. Obviously, these two -- along with the always entertaining Kelly Lynch -- bring fun and enthusiasm to their roles. But the film doesn't give them anything to work with. They look bored out of their skulls.
Since her days on Gilmore Girls, Alexis Bledel has always struggled with the acting profession, and very little has changed as her resume has grown. Like a novice, she still delivers her lines with unimaginative blandness and fails to inject anything but one-dimensional qualities into her characters.
Structured more like a sitcom than a film, Kelly Fremon's screenplay plays out in pale episodic sketches, many of which connect very poorly to rest of the movie. When the story takes detours that make little sense, and when characters make choices that contradict previous ones, it's clear that Post Grad is using them as props. Fremon doesn't allow the characters to drive the story forward. Rather, the plot pulls them along like a puppy with its leash caught in a bus door.