Live Blogging Reality Bites!
This should have been a Big Gay romcom about Winona & Janeane.
Can you imagine?
1994! People don’t know about Windows 95 yet! I guess they know about Windows 3.1….but still! This movie is old enough to drink in America. It is also an Aquarius, according to its Wikipedia-stated release date. I can totally see that.
It’s 2015. I’m 32 and looking for a job right now, which involves hanging out on the internet and answering my telephone. I have not a lot of weed and lots of cash anxiety. It is not warm enough out that I might feel bad about staying in all day and liveblogging Reality Bites.
Here we are together.☺
The box (I will always remember this movie as a VHS we rented from the video store) says ‘GENERATION 90’ in huge letters. I remember when this and Singles came out while everybody was shitting their pants about grunge. I had two teenage sisters and we grew up in the Pacific Northwest. So of course I saw these and thought that’s what I was supposed to be like, even though Reality Bites takes place in Houston for no reasons.
Anywho, I refuse to watch Singles again because I’m afraid of catching dumb from Matt Dillon or fashion from Kyra Sedgwick. ‘Heathers’ is still a fun movie. Is this?
00:00 Pray for me.
01:47 Shoutouts to Columbia Records, the Napster of the 80s.
02:00 Oh God Andy Dick is in this.
02:10 Ugh. Ew. Douche Chills. Greasy Douche Chills. Hereafter DCs, because I think Ethan Hawk is going to give me a lot of them. EEEeeeewww lookit his facial hair!!
02:27 Important exposition. Someone went to film school for this movie.
03:09 Vicki, I still love that dress.
03:29 I hope Steve Zahn is just in this movie to cringe at all the overwriting and micro-aggressions with us.
04:00 Mustard yellow tights?! Hello, Heather McNamera!
04:05 OK. I get now that Winona Ryder in this movie IS Ben Stiller himself who IS The Man. That’s meta.
05:25 Still a nice dress, Lalonona. Lanona. Lelana? Lanona. Wilona? I’m pretending that this Winona IS also Winona in Black Swan who IS also Winona in A Scanner Darkly who IS also Veronica Sawyer (always and forever). It’s one narrative.
07:09 THAT WON’T WORK, GIRL. Put the toilet paper away and boil the coffee on the stove like a real person.
08:16 Vicki is the responsible one in this movie. It is true the whole time. Her character arc is just all about her responsibly dealing with her HIV test. Why don’t they focus more on her and Sammy in this movie? Would it have seemed too preachy & topical? It might have been a better movie.
08:51 Is Troy supposed to be 18 or 25 here? What does it say that I can’t tell and it might not make a difference except to his liver and lungs?
09:30 Is it weird that I actively watched Frazier as a ten year old?
10:30 To elaborate on that composite Winona from earlier. It goes: Edward Scissorhands, Heathers, Beetlejuice, Reality Bites, Black Swan, A Scanner Darkly, How to Make an American Quilt, Girl Interrupted, Alien Resurrection. Same character the whole time. She’s like fuckin’ Orlando.
11:21 PRE-PASTEL THE GAP. KHAKIS & CANADIAN TUXEDOS.
11:50 This riding in the car with music smoking is So True. Except I do this with my girlfriends at kitchen tables and at the river cuz none of us can afford a fucking car hahahaha.
12:13 LOOK AT YOUR LIFE, BEN STILLER. LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES. WHERE IS YOUR YOUTH NOW? In the late model BMW beside you.
12:45 SO PUNK.
12:50 Nice cellphone, Max Headroom.
13:27 I also make $400 (on) a (good) week.
14:35 Remember when this movie was sold as a Ben Stiller-Winona Ryder- Ethan Hawk rom com? I hope it was originally pitched as a movie about Vicki and Steve Zahn and it got Hollywooded and turned into this. That would be so meta.
15:55 ALL HAIL BOB DOBBS.
16:57 Sweet bedsheet flag. ‘Hey That’s My Bike’ is a GREAT posi bike crust punk band name. And it’s wasted on this fake Sublime asshole.
Paul Newman. Fuck you, E-Hawk. Wash your hair.
18:26 Girl, this is your calling card piece? A bit about your oily crush’s living room band? No wonder your film & video career consisted of being a PA on Frazier before you turned to drugs and ballet.
19:09 Fuck it I’m going to smoke weed to make this movie better.
19:51 $400 a week is a dream wage, according to one of my Urban Studies profs. He says people don’t get any happier after they make that much money. I wonder when the last time he made $400 a week was.
21:35 Brace yourself for a scene that broke the crest of one of the First Waves of Hipster Irony, anybody who ever reads this (nobody ever). Ugh. Here it was! Ironically dancing to a catchy-but-gross song about a preteen girl in a boring convenience store. ‘Hey! Generation Zany! And Steve Zahn! Keep it down!’ Go look up the gif, I don’t care.
23:17 Oh Ben Stiller Hi! Look everybody, an adult is on screen!
24:07 D. C.s
24:21 “I’m making a documentary about my friends and how shitty our world is” says every lazy ‘artist’ for the next 20–30 years.
24:45 All I can hear is David Attenborough narrating a mating ritual.
25:08 IT DOES OWE HIM A SNICKERS, WILENA. He’s a white male aged 18–49. Everyone listens to him! No matter how dumb his ideas are!
26:07 “Oh great! Homer Simpson steals my pig, Cyprus Hill steals my orchestra, and….Sonic Youth’s in my cooler! Get outta there you kids!”
“Come on Mister Frampton, you’re not gonna eat all that watermelon.”
26:20 Big Gulps are stupid, they get flat so fast.
26:47 This is not cute. This was never cute. They have no chemistry. Which is why he’s married to Jan Brady and becomes Wayne & Garth’s nemesis, and she ends up repopulating the Earth with Sigourney Weaver and her son.
27:31 Was this scene ever better in an earlier draft? Did they ever actually talk about things they really have in common? Likesay, film or journalism or television production or whatever? Or was it made more obvious that they are just having shitty small talk because they want to be making out, at least? Wilona girl, go home to Vicki. That dress is a nice colour on you.
29:11 So Awkward. If this were a real date one of them woulda left by now.
29:40 Did they use shirts that would give E Hawk serious Dadbod on purpose? To make him look more like a skinny walrus that loves Alice in Chains?
30:00 OH MY GOD ARE YOU HER CREEPY OLDER BROTHER OR WHAT?! I actually reflexively muted this scene while cringing. What a fuckin’ baby.
32:05 Wow, Vicky. Stoked on her corporate position like a trooper.
33:09 “I focus on the little things” Like emotionally abusing people that I love, because I am so afraid Death’s looming hand will take them away from me before I am ready.
33:34 This Is The Real Movie Here. Vicki at the clinic!
34:26 Shoulda showed your boss the schlocky heteronormative lovestory instead of cancer and responsible modern sexuality, Ben Stiller.
35:03 This movie has a dim view of the Baby Boomers & their parents.
35:57 Revenge fantasies and sitcom fodder for generations. Ben Stiller also helped on Wayne’s World, right? Before or after? Wayne’s World was 1992. Oh shit, Ben Stiller!
36:34 ….Oh my God that’s Rob Lowe in Wayne’s World. Sorry, Ben Stiller.
37:11 HAHA COLLEGE. Go work at the Gap. We are from the Future and so is the Gap! Too bad you spent all that money on college for nothing!
38:05 Another nice dress.
38:15 E-Hawk this anti-capitalist bottom wrung job thing is cute in your 20s when you’re smart and it feels good to not give a shit. But where are you now? Working at Whole Foods, you say? Disturbingly accurate! (Wait, they had Whole Foods in the Past?) What’s his facial hair situation in 2015? Does he turn into Training Day? Or The Purge? Both maybe? Following my earlier Winona-Orlando logic of earlier. Of course.
40:13 Be modern and choose Vicki! This movie should end with them kicking E-Hawk out of the house so Sammy can live on the couch instead.
END OF MOVIE. THREE’S FUCKIN’ COMPANY.
43:25 Sorry, I’ve tuned this out in favour of imagining that Frances Ha was actually about how Wilena finally started taking dance seriously while she was living with Vicki in New York after they run away from Ethan Hawk. And then Vicki leaves to marry a hipster dude; and Wilena meets that shitty ballet guy- who makes her crazy in Black Swan- at one of her weird recitals.
43:31 Andy Dick. Perfect casting. Also, TAKE THIS JOB, WILENA.
44:05 Is this guy the only person of colour in this movie? Set in Texas?
44:40 Paging Alanis Morrisette! Paging Alanis Morisette!
45:30 Vivisection? Calm down, Wilena.
45:36 Alanis Morrisette and Ethan Hawk high five.
47:40 Why do I still like David Spade? Why didn’t Weird Al do more movies after UHF? Man, movies in the 80s were so racist. They are still racist, but wow. UHF was a pretty racist movie.
48:51: There’s that cute dress again.
49:42: Those ‘rap guys’ posing in hemp gear are all wrong. They do not look expensively dressed, that is for sure. Is this rap grunge?
50:13: My life RN. Except instead of laying on the couch watching MTV all day, today I’ve applied for a bunch of jobs, had some phone calls, cleaned part of my room, binge-ate twizzlers, written some short fiction & liveblogged a beloved movie that I think I hate now.
51:03 LA TOY YA! LA TOY YAAAAA!!! Phone psychic friend!
51:45 This scene is like, years in the lives of some people I know.
52:25 What drugs is she on right now?
52:42 The first meaningful conversations we’ve heard her have when she’s not around Vicki.
53:13 How has she not seen Ben Stiller in this long but they have gotten a phone bill? Hasn’t he come by and privileged her out of this hole?
54:07 Bless you, Steve Zahn.
55:00: You should have been pulling this gas card thing a long time ago.
55:30 ‘Yeah, totally Crimethinc’d my rich dad HA HA’.
55:26 I want to pretend that this montage was originally one in which Winayna becomes a webcam model and RAKES IT IN as a Suicide Girl.
56:13 This is bad music. Even for an optimistic 90s montage about money.
56:32 This is your apartment but Vicki knows when your rent is due? And balances your budgets? And pays your bills? Winena, I’m beginning to think that you and E-Hawk are two baby peas in one spoiled pod.
56:40 OH SNAP speak of the greasy devil. I am turning the volume down. Again. This movie has some weird ideas about healthy courting.
59:20 NOT TRUE. Your life would not be easier as a lesbian. Vicki, you have some fucked up ideas about homosexuals for someone so sex positive.
TL; DR version of this whole review:
60:10 This is the real movie, right? It was supposed to be about Janeane Garafalo waiting for her test results with her shitty spoiled friends? Because Steve Zahn promised to come out to his Mom if she went and got tested. But then she offended him by saying he’s only gay cuz he hadn’t met the right girl yet? So she’s gotta live with herself and her privilege while hanging out with awful straight people who treat each other like shit? But studio execs thought it wouldn’t sell, so they focused on the boring love triangle and put the MTV video stuff in there as a dig? Right? That’s the reality we live in?
60:57 Right guys?
61:48 Such a bad fictional name, for real. Lelaayiaena Pierce? Who does that?
62:59 Or was the intial movie a zoolander-ey prequel about Rob Lowe’s character from Wayne’s World losing his innocence finally to the Man while falling in love with a woman who represents all his youthful idealisms? A yuppie movie, of sorts?
63:50 This Scene is what I’m here for.
64:20 “Oh. Oh. Puh-flag.” Bless you both.
64:20 There’s that dress again.
65:10 DON’T YOU FAST-FORWARD HIM YOU BITCH.
65:50 ‘I want to be let back in the house.’ Oh, what could have been…
68:09 GIRL, HAVE SOME SELF-RESPECT AND SPEAK UP FFS.
69:05: “Real programming” everybody! Fuck reality TV!
70:00: Lelaina! I can’t with this name.
70:40 I wonder if this is how Ben Stiller felt when he saw the final cut of this movie.
71:45 I was always glad they made the Ben Stiller character naïve instead of greedy.
72:59 “I’ll make them take the pizza thing out, ok?” YOU WILL DO NO SUCH THING.
73:46 You know, this “breaking you down every time you’re up, being super there for you (and seemingly turned on?) every time you’re super down” thing is a REAL red flag in the real world, Wilena.
74:46 $100 says that line about Mr Brady dying of AIDS was one of only a few that have been in since the first draft.
75:12 She’s 23?! Oh fuck me.
75:57 UGH. SO GROSS! So Red Flag! Not cute. At all!
77:00 I am so grossed out and I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO GIRL. Don’t say I never warned you. I love you, and I want to be supportive of you. But that dude is a bad decision.
77:59 MUTE. MUUUUTTTEE.
78:55 AND LISTEN, Wilena. I care about you. I love you, Veronica Lydia Josephine March Sawyer. And because of that, I need to tell you the truth of how I feel. And that is that you are better than Greasy Hawk.
79:44 Rob Lowe is apologizing! Would E Hawk ever apologize?!
80:44 Vicki is your one true love here.
81:10 That should have happened instead. Vicki & Ben Stiller. Much better match, right? Vicki totally loves Doctor Zaius too.
83:05 MUTE. MUUUTTTTTEE.
83:50 You’re too grown up for her, Ben Stiller. These two are fecken babies.
85:26 MUTE! MUUUTTTTE!
87:45 Still on mute.
88:35 I just took it off mute. No U2. No.
89:31 He looks about as awkward in that suit as my 22 year old gutter punk boyfriend looked in his court clothes.
90:27 WASH YOUR HAIR.
90:41 Is he apologizing? I am not listening.
91:38 He’s magickally a good-and-emotionally mature person now that his parent is dead? I guess that… might sorta happen?
92:00 And where is she living? Is this a different house? Where is Vicki to tell this couchstain to go the fuck back to Chicago?
92:40 And they lived happily ever after. Until she gets comfortable and he gets freaked out and leaves again, this time for longer and comes back with a kid he doens’t want with a girl he doesn’t respect. And on and on for eternity until they both die of lung cancer and drinking too much coffee.
92:55 Ugh. Hipsters.
AND THAT’S THE MOVIE! For some reason the whole ‘Winona Ryder losing her job and not being able to find work until she scams her rich Dad and descends into stoned oblivion with her nihilist boyfriend’ thing is really depressing to me in 2015. Maybe because I wrote this review while trying to find a job?
A cup of coffee, a cigarette, and a good conversation is not enough when you’re pushing 40, Ethan Hawk’s goatee. Are you really working at Whole Foods now? What kind of weird Dad Band are you in? Do you have kids you frequently ‘leave without getting permission’?
ps: shoutouts to http://www.sankles.com/2014/09/style-dissection-reality-bites.html I think I might have stolen gifs from you.