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post-grad-alexis-bledel-001Ryden Malby’s (Alexis Bledel) story has a ripped-from-the-headlines feel to it in these recessionary times. Despite being an A student in high school and earning a scholarship to the right university, her goal of finding the next great American novel at Los Angeles’s biggest publisher Happerman and Browning, didn’t quite work out.

Just the opposite in fact.

Instead of living the dream at H&B the career minded Ryden is forced to move back home with her not ready for prime time family; quirky mom and dad (Jane Lynch and Michael Keaton), grandmother (Carol Burnett) and little brother (Bobby Coleman). “This whole post graduation thing isn’t turning out how I planned,” she says as she takes a part time job at her dad’s luggage shop.

When she isn’t planning her next career move she hangs out with her lovesick childhood friend Adam (Zach Gilford) and David Santiago (Rodrigo Santoro), a charming infomercial director, cat enthusiast and possible love interest who offers her a job.
“Post Grad” is almost instantaneously forgettable. Apart from a few grin worthy moments sprinkled throughout the movie is an unwieldy mix of earnest teen drama and slapstick. Neither work particularly well although old pros Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch and Carol Burnett (who gets the movie’s biggest laugh) manage to wring some laughs out of the underwritten script.

The humour is a bit darker than you’d expect, mostly of the funeral for a dead cat gone horribly wrong type, but there are a couple of good one liners. “The Office’s” Craig Robinson, who is making habit of being funny in bad movies (ie: “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard”), pops up here as a smarmy coffin salesman who uses the pitch line, “What do I have to do to put you in one of our caskets today?” It’s a good line; I just wish there had been more of them peppered through the script.

Once the jokes are exhausted, in the end there is the inevitable message that Ryden must stop obsessing about the future and live in the here and now. It is typical happily-ever-after fare, inoffensive, but not very interesting. “Post Grad’s” story of job woe may sound ripped-from-the-headlines, but the movie is yesterday’s news.

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