Unwind your mind

Going back to school this past year has been great except for exams. I thought I’d written my last exam when I finished my undergrad years ago, but it turns out professional programs have exams too. Who knew? While the stress level and caffeine intake are both high, one can’t study all the time. Study breaks are a great opportunity to veg out and watch some great movies. I’ve discovered a number of fun comedies that have helped me unwind after a long day of brain expansion, as well as a few duds that are best avoided. Rave Reviews looks at Post Grad and Pirate Radio.

Post Grad is a really cute romantic comedy starring Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights). Ryden Malby is about to graduate from university. She’s got a degree, a job prospect at the publishing house of her dreams, and a line on a super-cute loft apartment in Los Angeles. She’s got her whole post-graduate life figured out . . .

until everything falls apart. The job falls through. She can’t afford the apartment. And now she has to move in with (gasp!) her parents. Living in her childhood bedroom and scouring the want ads for minimum wage jobs isn’t how Ryden imagined her post-grad world. Her best friend Adam is convinced that things will work out for her but Ryden is so focused on the life she always dreamed of that she can’t see the life that’s going on right in front of her. Bledel is her usual cutesy self and if you normally find her charming, you can be assured of more of the same in Post Grad. The movie is light and fun with a few good laughs and a good moral for young people who are thinking about their future. A great end of the school year comedy for your favourite teen!

I had rented Pirate Radio in the hopes of a fun time with some great music. Well, at least the music met my expectations! Pirate Radio has so much promise: a great cast (Phillips Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy and Rhys fans to name a few), a cool concept (a bunch of DJs on an old beat-up fishing boat off the coast of Britain in the 1960s, spinning records and sticking it to the man), and is even based on true events. Sadly these elements can make a good movie, but only if they go somewhere. These pirates were dead in the water. There are a ton of neat characters but writer/director Richard Curtis (Love Actually) doesn’t develop any of them—limited back stories and no forward motion kept me asking throughout the film, “What’s the point?” This movie is best left moored at the dock.

If you can recommend any good chill-out movies, please send them along. Now that school’s almost out, I’m looking forward to a long, lazy summer full of films and fun!

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