Reality Bites

Reality Bites is a 1994 American romantic comedy-drama film written by Helen Childress and directed by Ben Stiller in his feature directorial debut. It stars Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, and Stiller, with supporting roles by Janeane Garofalo and Steve Zahn. The plot follows Lelaina (Ryder), an aspiring videographer working on a documentary called Reality Bites about the disenchanted lives of her friends and roommates. Their challenges exemplify some of the career and lifestyle choices faced by GenerationX.


Four friends, recent college graduates, live together in Houston, Texas. Coffee-house guitarist Troy Dyer and budding filmmaker Lelaina Pierce are attracted to each other, although they have not acted on their feelings except for one brief, drunken encounter years ago.