No jobs - isn't that hilarious?

Alexis Bledel is the grad who moves back home when she can't find work. Rodrigo Santoro is the Argentine hunk next door.
Alexis Bledel is the grad who moves back home when she can't find work. Rodrigo Santoro is the Argentine hunk next door.
Posted: August 21, 2009

A horror tale for recent college graduates and their parents, Post Grad - starring the Gilmore Girls' Alexis Bledel - is about what happens when that diploma turns out to be useless, there are no jobs, and the old bedroom with the teddy bears gets dusted off for a return visit. Back home, extended stay.

Ostensibly a comedy, and a feeble and innocuous one at that, Post Grad is one of those what-were-they-thinking? studio productions that should have been shelved back in the script stage. Instead, Vicky Jenson, an animation director (Shrek, Shark Tale) making her live-action feature debut, marches a talented cast through an obstacle course of awkward comedic dilemmas.

Michael Keaton, overworking it as the kooky paterfamilias of the Malby clan, has never been this bad. Jane Lynch, a blithely nutty presence in a number of indie comedies, has the camera's unforgiving attention in a succession of dubious deadpan double takes. And Carol Burnett is the grandmom, knocking at death's door - but don't let that stop her from slinging dismissive wisecracks all around.

Bledel is the chirpy Ryden Malby - a book junkie (she read Catcher in the Rye as a kid, Charles Bukowski's Post Office when she was 13) who is wholly confident of landing employment with Los Angeles' biggest publishing house. When that doesn't happen, and a series of calamities do, Ryden has no recourse but to slink back to her childhood home. (Yes, it's the one with the garden gnomes.)

Her longtime platonic boy pal, Adam (Zach Gilford), has his own quandaries: whether to pursue a folkie singing career or go to law school in New York. If only Ryden would realize she needs him as much as he needs her. But Ryden's more interested in the hunky Argentine TV commercials director (Rodrigo Santoro) who has moved in next door.

Bledel, popping her blue eyes expressively, sports a series of outfits that would strain the budget of the steadily employed, never mind the hopelessly out of work. But Post Grad doesn't pretend to be real for more than a second. This is pure fantasy. And flimsy fantasy at that.

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