CineStyle: Reality Bites

Clockwise from top left: Philip Lim 3.1 Muscle Tee // Karen Walker Helter Skelter Sunglasses // Rochas Laser Cut Penny Loafers // Estée Lauder Signature Hydra Lipstick in Spanish Red // Marlboros // Topshop Bleach Ripped Cropped Jeans // pine tree air freshener // keys // Scotch & Soda vest // Big Gulp

I'm guessing you've all seen this one: disaffected Gen-Xers, college fallout, shitty jobs, Dad's credit card, 90s Houston, aimless wandering, the Gap, yep, that about covers it. Reality Bites, as cliché as it may be, has always been one of my favorites. Blame it on Winona Rider's perfect style, blame it on the fact that it's set in Texas, blame it on post college mall jobs, blame it on beer can bongs and Violent Femmes covers, but something in there feels just perfect to me.

Scrambling to make ends meet and somehow still achieve creative notoriety all while keeping her integrity intact, Lelaina (Winona Rider) mopes her way through life perpetual cigarette in hand. Her quasi burnout friends seem to be ambling along the same path which she explores (exploits?) via videotape. Rather than culminating in a meaningful intellectual probe into the life of Generation X as intended, her work gets sold off and chopped up into a fuzzy buzzy MTVesque proto-reality show thanks to her yuppy boyfriend (Ben Stiller).

More moping ensues: $400 phone bills to late night psychics, roommate wars, huffy spats with her moody crush Troy (Ethan Hawke), chain smoking, you get the picture. Lelaina hustles herself back into shape charging strangers gas to her Dad's credit card and pocketing the cash to pay off her debts. She shakes off her failed project, and, after an agro cover of The Violent Femmes' Add It Up belted out in her honor and a rather public breakup with her well-meaning yuppster boyfriend she ultimately gets the guy - dirty 90s hair and all.

Yes, it's hard making it out there on your own. Growing up is tough and clearly these 20 somethings aren't there yet, but it's pretty fun to watch them try. I just wish I'd thought of that gas card trick when I was 22.

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