By John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service
A talented cast is becalmed by a listless
script in "Post Grad" (Fox Atomic). As penned by Kelly Fremon,
veteran animation director Vicky Jenson's live-action debut—part coming-of-age
tale, part romantic comedy, part quirky family romp—tries to go in too many
directions at once, and ends up adrift.
Rodrigo Santoro and Alexis Bledel star in a scene from the movie "Post Grad."
The premise is certainly timely. Having
planned her life out carefully since early high school days, Ryden Malby
(Alexis Bledel) graduates from college convinced that she will easily secure
her dream job as a book editor at her favorite publishing firm, so much so that
she prematurely signs the lease on an expensive apartment.
Instead, her main scholastic rival,
Jessica Bard (Catherine Reitman), swoops in to grab the position, leaving broke
Ryden with no choice but to return home to her eccentric family.
Dad Walter (Michael Keaton) tries to
divert Ryden from her employment search by inveigling her into his Ralph
Kramden-style schemes for making it big. Tough-talking grandmother Maureen
(Carol Burnett), a heavy smoker now on oxygen, is busy trying out caskets at
the funeral parlor. And jaded mom Carmella (Jane Lynch) has her hands full with
Ryden's younger brother, Hunter (Bobby Coleman), whose preferred method of
communication is via a sock puppet.
Along with her economic woes, Ryden also
faces a romantic dilemma. Should she stick with longtime boyfriend Adam (Zach
Gilford) or go for Brazilian-born ladies man David (Rodrigo Santoro), one of
her parents' neighbors?
Typical of the misguided comedy and slow
pace are scenes portraying the demise and burial of David's cat, whose
improvised funeral—hardly the likeliest source of laughs in the first place—is
After one of his projects goes
drastically wrong, resulting in a crisis, Walter resolves that the quarreling
family needs to pull together, and a subplot involving Hunter's interest in
soapbox racing boosts family solidarity.
But, in contrast to the chaste nature of
her relationship with Adam—about which he openly complains—Ryden has a
passionate encounter with David after the two have barely met. And the dialogue
repeatedly refers to the importance of using prophylactics, with one adult
character advising Ryden, "Condoms are your best friend."
The film contains brief nongraphic,
nonmarital sexual activity, occasional sexual references, a half-dozen uses of
profanity, at least one use of the F-word, and some crude and crass language.
The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III—adults.
The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly
cautioned; some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
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Mulderig is on the staff of the Office
for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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