Timing’s everything in comedy, so perhaps Post Grad would have seemed peppier prior to the Great Recession; circa now, this comedy feels like a cynical stroll through the unemployment lines awaiting today’s class of seniors. Bubbly Ryden (Gilmore Girls’ Bledel) is a millennial with a serious sense of entitlement. As the ink dries on her diploma and she preps for an introductory interview with her favorite publisher, little miss get-up-and-go is already signing the lease on a luxury apartment. Adulthood: Here she comes!
There’s just one problem: The school’s gleefully pretentious valedictorian (Reitman) has networked into the only entry-level slot and Ryden’s savings have evaporated. So back she slinks to her neurotic blue-collar family, job hunting and [Shudder] a single-day stint in the world of retail. Post Grad’s trajectory suggests a growing-up-is-hard-to-do revelation, but Ryden learns little in her setbacks: She still rolls her eyes at a well-meaning father (Keaton), ignores a lovelorn best friend and scoffs at jobs that are allegedly beneath her. The laughs here hinge on our willingness to forgive this confused young woman, but the goofy upending of best-laid plans reeks of utter detachment. Ryden ditching a McJob after one shift isn’t a signal of liberation but class-based privilege; what about the desperate dozens who’d die to take her place?—S. James Snyder
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