6.6/10
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Reality Bites (1994)

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2:12 | Trailer
A documentary filmmaker and her fellow Gen X graduates face life after college, looking for work and love in Houston.

Director:

Ben Stiller

Writer:

Helen Childress
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Popularity
3,327 ( 183)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Winona Ryder ... Lelaina Pierce
Ethan Hawke ... Troy Dyer
Janeane Garofalo ... Vickie Miner
Steve Zahn ... Sammy Gray
Ben Stiller ... Michael Grates
Swoosie Kurtz ... Charlane McGregor
Harry O'Reilly ... Wes McGregor
Susan Norfleet Susan Norfleet ... Helen Anne Pierce
Joe Don Baker ... Tom Pierce
Renée Zellweger ... Tami (as Renee Zellweger)
James Rothenberg James Rothenberg ... Rick
John Mahoney ... Grant Gubler
Eric Morgan Stuart Eric Morgan Stuart ... Damien (as Eric Stuart)
Barry Del Sherman ... Grant's Producer (as Barry Sherman)
Chelsea Lagos ... Troy Groupie
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Storyline

In this study of Generation X manners, Lelaina, the valedictorian of her college class, camcords her friends in a mock documentary of posteducation life. Troy is her best friend, a perpetually unemployed musical slacker. Vickie is a manager at the Gap who worries about the results of an AIDS test, while Sammy has problems grappling with his sexuality. When Lelaina meets Michael, an earnest video executive who takes her homemade video to his MTV-like station, she must decide what she values--the materialism of yuppie Michael or the philosophical musings of Troy. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy about love in the '90s.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language, drug content and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Reality Bites See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,113,050, 20 February 1994

Gross USA:

$20,982,557

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$33,351,557
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Heche and Parker Posey, virtual unknowns at the time, all auditioned for the role of Vickie Miner, which eventually went to Janeane Garofalo. See more »

Goofs

At one point, the characters are drinking Big Gulps from 7-Eleven. This would have been impossible in Houston in the early 1990s. All Houston-area 7-Elevens (269 total) were acquired by National Convenience Stores (parent company of Stop'n'Go) in October 1987, which was later consolidated by Diamond Shamrock (National Convenience Stores and Diamond Shamrock entered into a buyout agreement in November 1995). Valero Energy Corporation now owns the assets of Diamond Shamrock since 2001. To get a Big Gulp (prior to September 2013), they would have had to drive 109 miles to Smithville, Texas - the easternmost location of a 7-Eleven in the state east of Interstate 35. 7-Eleven Inc. owned/operated stores including those corporate-owned in Texas, prior to December 31, 2012 were limited to Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth metro areas along the Interstate 35 corridor - its West Texas stores are operated under license by Alon USA's Southwest Convenience Stores retail division. As of January 2, 2013, 7-Eleven acquired the retail assets of the C.L. Thomas Petroleum Carriers and TETCO where the existing Speedy Stop and TETCO stores are being remodeled as 7-Elevens, officially reintroducing the brand to Southeast Texas - with several locations in the outlying area of the Houston Metro region. As of early 2014, the closest 7-Eleven to the Houston, TX metro area is located in Edna, TX off U.S. 59. See more »

Quotes

Vickie: Don't Bogart that can, man...
Troy Dyer: Are you retarded?
Vickie: No, I'm rhyming. It's not easy. Sure I make it look easy...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Australian print only runs 94 minutes, and most notably actors Kevin Pollak and Jeanne Tripplehorn do not appear. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.68 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Add It Up
Written by Gordon Gano
Performed by Ethan Hawke, Jack Irons, Nathan December, Christopher Wagner
Produced by Michael Beinhorn
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Breaks my heart every time
16 July 2000 | by craigboneySee all my reviews

I really do have difficulty with the short shrift this film seems to get. Admittedly, Ethan Hawke's appaling "I'm nuthin'" doesn't really do the film any favours but that asides, Reality Bites always has me in tears. The basic storyline, centering on a love that both people know exist but due to circumstance and fear has not manifested is so universal, and so well done. The 'my life is falling apart' endless phone calls to the psychic 0900 number part is so tragi-comedic, and the entire movie is full of continuous great scenes. Admittedly, being a single 25 year old white male who originally saw the film a few years back, I was probably caught at the optimal time for it to have an emotional impact, but I find myself going back to it again and again. Winona has never been better, and Janeane Garofalo is stunning as the low self-esteem serial one night stander with the AIDS paranoia and over-full shag book. Also, great cameos from the Soul Asylum geezer and Evan Dando's stunning turn during the end credits add to the film. Overall a stunning film, admittedly which will probably only be appreciated by a relatively narrow demographic.


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