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Reality Bites

Reality Bites is a 1994 American romantic comedy-drama film written by Helen Childress and directed by Ben Stiller. 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 disenfranchised lives of her friends and roommates. Their challenges exemplify some of the career and lifestyle choices faced by GenerationX.

Plot

Four friends who recently graduated from college 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. Troy is floundering, having lost several minimum wage jobs—the last of which he loses early in the film for stealing a candy bar from his employer. Lelaina was valedictorian of her university and has aspirations to become a documentarian, although initially having to settle for a position as production-assistant to a rude and obnoxious TV host.