Soggy Post Grad Misses More than One Mark

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Post Grad
Directed by Vicky Jenson
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Opens August 21

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Post Grad tries to do three things at once—and half-hits the mark on only one. Part of it is wacky Little Miss Sunshine family time, with Carol Burnett in the Alan Arkin part and Michael Keaton as the clueless paterfamilias. Part is sketch comedy, which—given Keaton's frequently under-used talents, plus Jane Lynch as his wife and a supporting cast stacked so deep that J.K. Simmons can be thrown away on two scenes—is not half-bad. But most of Post Grad is a soggy, Devil Wears Prada–aspiring romance, with Ryden Malby (Alexis Bledel) as a just-graduated girl whose deep lust for literature (she has read Catcher in the Rye!) is exceeded only by her flawless navigation in heels. When a job in publishing isn't forthcoming until the second act, Ryden leaves the big city and heads back to the homestead to choose between the older Brazilian hottie next-door (Rodrigo Santoro) and her devoted, absolutely spineless BFF, Adam (Zach Gilford). Then comes that second act, which features Ryden actually getting a magazine job in this economic climate, only to quit it for true love. Yes, she quit a publishing job. In 2009. Vicky Jenson's live-action debut is as cartoonish as her work on Shrek, and that's OK for the comic bits. The rest seems like a remarkably cynical cross-breed—for all demographics, but, ultimately, for none.

 
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