Screwball comedy deserves a sequel

The Malbys are just plain nice. That’s the only word for them. They’re a goofy, strange, California suburban family who love one another and share the same sunny sense of humor and nothing terrible ever happens to them and it’s all for one and one for all.

Alexis Bledel

Post Grad

Three stars

Classified: PG-13 (for sexual situations and brief strong language).

The Malbys are just plain nice. That’s the only word for them. They’re a goofy, strange, California suburban family who love one another and share the same sunny sense of humor and nothing terrible ever happens to them and it’s all for one and one for all.

Post Grad, the story of how Ryden Malby graduates from college and tries to enter the job market, shows them coping with hard times with good cheer. It’s a screwball comedy. It’s also, I have to say, a feel-good movie that made me smile a lot. The Malbys are just so darned lovable.

Take Ryden. She’s played by Alexis Bledel, who is beautiful in a blue-eyed, open-faced kind of way, and awfully hopeful she’ll get a job in publishing because she likes to read more than anything. Dad is Walter (Michael Keaton), the district manager for a luggage retailer, who isn’t worried that things will work out fine for her, and even offers her a job helping him sell mail-order belt buckles that he doesn’t know are stolen goods.

Ryden’s mom, Carmella (Jane Lynch), is sort of the sane centre of gravity. Her grandma (Carol Burnett) is a hip baby boomer who gives her frank sex advice.

Her much younger little brother, Hunter (Bobby Coleman), is a cuddly goof. Her best friend, Adam (Zach Gilford), is admiring and loyal, and accepts that she’s not in love with him.

Even David (Rodrigo Santoro), Adam’s sexy older Brazilian rival from across the street, is not a letch and doesn’t take advantage of her.

To these good people happen unfortunate things. A job is lost. A cat is mashed. Coffins are damaged. Dad is arrested. The brakes fail on Hunter’s car in the soap box derby, and it runs into the lake. But the mashed cat is successfully buried, not without a struggle, which brings to mind the observation of a pet grave-digger in Gates of Heaven: “Make it too small and you can’t get ’em in there.”

There’s no doubt Alexis Bledel is the star of this show, an adorable young woman. You may recall her from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies or Bride & Prejudice. Hard to believe she was in Sin City.

Keaton and Lynch somehow seem like the logical parents for this phenomenon of niceness.

Apart from a few words and attitudes, this movie, directed by Vicky Jenson and written by Kelly Fremon, could be a throwback to more innocent times.

It contains no drugs, no angst, no bitterness, no generation gap, no big family problems, and it doesn’t even seem to know how blessed it is.

Admittedly, it’s not a great movie. It won’t alter the course of cinema. It won’t make any best 10 lists. If you’re cynical or jaded, it might not get past you. But here is the first movie in a long time that had me actually admitting I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel.

Roger Ebert is a syndicated Chicago Sun-Times movie critic.

Just Posted

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Police hand out a few hefty fines for allegedly violating Cannabis Act

The celebratory mood that marked the legalization of recreational cannabis lost a… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Most Read