Saturday, 2 June 2012

Reality Bites.

Conditions here at moment (hard to treat infection, stressful study load, crap weather) are not overly conducive to happy mood. Manage to locate small window of joy however in feel good movie genre and thus hatch a brilliant plan involving purchase of 90s X-gen hit Reality Bites off ebay for total bargain price. Successfully execute above plan (though excuse me videokat019, if item description says like new as though just taken out of shrink wrap item should not have scuffy type marks all over jewel case) and suggest to teenage daughter that should watch movie too as will definitely help get to know me better as person since Reality Bites is, like, total documentary of life in early 90s for young persons. Cosy up on lounge for viewing and explain to daughter during opening scene (Winona Ryder character giving valedictorian speech to what looks like crowded Supebowl stadium) that movie is totally realistic and so reminiscent of my 90s youth that I may at times need to wipe away nostalgic tear, but not to be overly troubled by that. Also should think of me as Winona Ryder character - impossibly luminous, talented, loved by all most hottest guys - only with Janeane Garofalo's personality (lets face it, Winona is bit of a wet blanket and really not sure she can act). For those who have not seen movie it goes like this: I - oops,  Winona -  playing the smart and beautiful Lelaina - must decide between nice Yuppie character Michael (played by Ben Stiller) and her sexy/unwashed unemployed slacker housemate Troy (played by Ethan Hawke) who did not bother to graduate College despite a super high IQ which he  then deploys to great effect throughout movie with obscure literary references and  carelessly clever put downs to anyone in his vicinity - though especially to Winona who has rejected his advances, broken his heart and triggered some emotionally crippled defence mechanisms. In a particularly powerful scene where Troy's grunge band "That's My Bike" is playing at hipster grunge cool hangout, Troy takes out his deepest hurt by dedicating a vicious rendition of the Violent Femmes "Add It Up" to Lelaina. For anyone who remembers this era, particularly through the music of "the Femmes", this is a resonant moment. Of course such cruelty only makes Troy even more sexy (as if his greasy hair, commitment phobia and useless education weren't already enough) and they end up together in what is clearly an upbeat and happy ending. I had forgotten this ending and was taken a little by surprise. 
Like watching any movie with daughter, and because am super, over involved, responsible parent,  I wondered what message Reality Bites had sent daughter and what questions I should raise for her to think about - something had not done since Miley Cyrus' last offering with all that upsetting and unnecessary on screen boot scootin'.  For example what if in the months to come, after the honeymoon period wore off, Lelaina finds she doesn't 'understand' Troy's music? Does "That's My bike" just do covers or do they have their own sound and a shot at taking that somewher? What were the chances of Troy overcoming his fear of inadequacy and learning how to effectively communicate his insecurities without lashing out defensively instead? And for her part would Lelaina come to realise that some dresses are just better worn with a bra?
Ultimately hope daughter came away with idea that if someone is mean before you go out with them they will not change just because you are together. Also that some dresses are just better worn with a bra.
Would love it if Hawke and Ryder teamed up for a sequel so we could see what became of their  grunge love story twenty years later. Kind of like when Hawke reunited with Julie Delpy for the sequel of Before Sunrise. Perhaps they are married and Troy has a comb over? Hey, is that a pitch or what.
Anyway must go as have important date with ebay to buy more DVDs. Am kind of on 90's binge now and am looking to purchase Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and the 90s version of Great Expectations.  All Ethan Hawke movies but that is just co incidence.


  1. LOVE this movie... yes, it was my 90s memory too... Bad news though, Winona Ryder definitely ME ;) Why do you think I've been dying my hair dark brown since then? Funny about what we think we are sharing with our kids and what they actually take from it... I remember letting my little one watch the Simpsons thinking that Lisa was such a great role model... asked her one day what she loved about the show; who she identified with and she came back quick as a flash... 'BART!'... No control whatsoever :)) Thanks for this Winona 2. Kx

  2. hilarious. I've gotta go back. understand my past. can't wait till I can drag a teenage daughter there, too.

  3. Ah the early nineties. No reality biting there. All I remember is pure joy of no-responsibilities. Must make sure my twins don't learn too much of a lesson from my days of old, although I never wore a dress without a bra.
    x Tina

  4. I thought I'd would pop by and wham, fav movie of the 90's! classic! and yes I loved Troy, the bad boy but we could change him!
    Have you done the Molly Ringwald movies yet?

  5. It's like you read my diary from when I was 16...

    Love from another Winnona.