Saturday, 3 April 2010

Post Grad (The Scotsman 1 January 2010)

Post Grad (12A) *
Directed by: Vicky Jenson
Starring: Alexis Bledel, Zach Gilford, Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch

Here’s a weird one: a pep rally for the US economy disguised as harmless sleepover fare, centring on a heroine hellbent on securing blue-chip employment. College graduate Ryden (Bledel) faces reduced expectations when her dream job in a publishing company goes south, requiring her to move back in with her folks. While she waits for opportunity to knock once more, she labours through all sorts of sitcommy business, and has to choose between hunky neighbour Rodrigo Santoro and a silently adoring best friend (Gilford) who composes drippy songs on his guitar - no surprises how this one works out.

The live-action debut of Shrek co-director Jenson, it’s of note chiefly for giving likable performers not one worthwhile thing to do between them. Keaton’s major contribution is to repeatedly step in cat poop; comedy veterans Lynch and J.K. Simmons are barely there; while Bledel, so funny and sensitive on TV’s Gilmore Girls, is here restyled as a conformist automaton who’s only sympathetic because she can’t get what she wants. Jenson lards the soundtrack with The Kooks and Lily Allen in a half-hearted stab at indie credibility, but really, it’s enough to make John Hughes movies seem like hotbeds of progressive thinking.

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