I’ve slogged my way through worse films than Post Grad, but what it lacks in sheer awfulness it more than makes up for in utter pointlessness. I sat through this thing trying to imagine why anyone wanted to make it. Did first-time offender Kelly Fremon think she was crafting an engaging or original story when she wrote Post Grad? Was director Vicky Jenson just so delighted to be directing real people instead of co-directing animated ones (Shark Tale) that she failed to notice how thoroughly uninteresting this was? Did people show up for work all excited to be making this movie? I simply can’t believe that. Dropping the proper number of tiddlies into a Tiddlywinks game on an assembly line could not be more soul deadening than making this movie.
Post Grad starts with a predictable setup—or several predictable setups—and then proceeds to flail around in a sea of predictable developments before arriving on the shore anyone past the age of 4 could have predicted when they saw the trailer. Alexis Bledel (TV’s Gilmore Girls) plays Ryden Malby, a perky college graduate with a best friend, Adam (Zach Gilford, TV’s Friday Night Lights), who is hopelessly in love with her. She, on the other hand, can only think about her dream job: working as an editor so she can discover the next “great American novel.” Well, guess what? She doesn’t get the dream job and has to move in with her—wait for it—quirky family. What an inspiration that development was.
The quirksters, in this case, are played by Michael Keaton as Ryden’s distracted dad, Jane Lynch as her long-suffering mom, Bobby Coleman (Martian Child) as her diabetic-coma-inducing cute little brother and the venerable Carol Burnett as her sharp-tongued “dying” grandmother. They all live in an architecturally improbable house in suburbia, surrounded by garden gnomes—any one of which evidences more personality than the characters. Oh, and there’s also a hunky Brazilian (Rodrigo Santoro, Che) who directs infomercials and lives across the street. His function, of course, is to divert Ryden’s attention from her love-struck swain in order to get us to the dreary penultimate misunderstanding reel that all such movies must have under penalty of law. And yes, there’s the usual coating of bland pop songs of no discernible merit drizzled over the whole thing.
Look, if any of this sounds remotely interesting to you, have at it. Me? I checked my phone three times to see how much longer the movie was going to drag on. I chuckled (snorted, really) once. I was surprised exactly zero times. And I wished I was watching Inglourious Basterds for at least 80 of the movie’s 89 minutes. Rated PG-13 for sexual situations and brief strong language.