Reality Bites

Year: 1994
Production Co: Jersey Films
Director: Ben Stiller
Producer: Danny DeVito
Writer: Helen Childress
Cast: Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Steve Zahn, Swoosie Kurtz, Renee Zellweger, John Mahoney
It's hard to believe Ben Stiller was around all this time ago when Winona Ryder was still hot, but he co-starred in and directed the definitive love letter to generation X in the Seattle grunge era.

Looking back, it was corporate Hollywood's idea of the rebellious youth of the early 90s, and most of it was crafted to be marketable to The Kids - especially girls in the case of heart-throb Hawke as lovable slacker Troy.

Aside from the era trappings, it's another 'school's over and now I'm determined to stay cool instead of becoming an adult with responsibilities' - see The Breakfast Club and a million other teen coming-of-age riffs of the same template.

We see the story through the eyes of quirky Lelania (Ryder), trying to decide who she wants to be in life, a conundrum given flesh for the most part between having to choose between the two very different men wooing her, stubbly slacker Troy and buttoned down yuppie Michael (Stiller).

Of the three, who would have thought in 1994 that it'd be Stiller who'd be the biggest star in 15 years time? And that's taking into account the cast peppered with then virtual unknowns who are now well known?

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