Post Grad (Alexis Bledel, Zach Gilford, Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett, J.K. Simmons) – Quirky comedy is a term used often to describe usually independent films with a comedic flair and off-kilter characters. Post Grad is exactly that. It surrounds two virtual unknown actors, Alexis Bledel and Zach Gilford, with veterans Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett and J.K. Simmons. Here’s the set-up: a young woman who has charted out her whole life – great grades, full college scholarship, excellent credentials and a job at a publishing house as an editor – gets all she wants except the job. She is forced to move back in with her parents, brother and grandmother. Dad is Michael Keaton playing the Mr. Mom role he always plays, only now as a mature actor. Jane Lynch, whose body of comedic work is so broad that everyone recognizes her but no one knows her name, plays mom. Grandma, in the stereotyped role Cloris Leachman created so well, is played here by the queen of comedy, Carol Burnett (now 76 and brilliant as ever). The movie is the story of Bledel’s character, Rydan Malby, and her life after college and her relationship with her best and platonic friend, Adam Davies (Gilford). He’s a musician recently accepted to law school at Columbia. Sledel/Rydan is beautiful, talented, secure, and (well) unemployed. She falls for the guy who lives across the street, a Brazilian infomercial director named David Santiago, played by Rodrigo Santoro. But this is just a diversion. Post Grad is a family saga and a lovely story you’ve seen before of two friends where the boy loves the girl but the girl doesn’t know she loves him yet. In this way, the story is a very conventional chick flick. But it’s the loving, nutty family that makes the picture work in the way Little Miss Sunshine does.
About the young actors: Alexis Bledel is best known for her role as Rory Gilmore in TV’s The Gilmore Girls but she also was one of the stars of the two Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies, where she played Lena. She has the bluest of blue eyes and reminded me of Zooey Deschanel, the star of (500) Days of Summer and Yes Man. Zach Gilford plays Matt in the TV version of Friday Night Lights and he is very good here. He doesn’t dazzle the way Bledel does but he holds his own on the big screen. While they star, the veterans shine. This is an easy movie to like but isn’t really special. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon at the movies.