She really wanted to be somebody by the time she turned 23, but for the fans of '90s cult classic Reality Bites, Lelania Pierce was already somebody. The ambitious protagonist, played by the era's golden girl #WinonaRyder, summarized the angst every graduate goes through — namely, who am I meant to be, and how TF am I going to get there?
Before reality TV was really a thing, #RealityBites — directed by Ben Stiller, no less — focused on Lelania's foray into directing, only to have her VHS masterpiece mashed into some pithy commentary on 20-something wasters on an MTV-esque station, and called her closest relationships into question as a consequence. Starring Ethan Hawke (as essentially an aged Jordan Catalano) and Janeane Garofalo (who brought many a dose of Ghost World style realness), Reality Bites was a lesson (albeit, a very cooly packaged lesson) in how much venturing into adulthood and "finding yourself" sucks.
It's been 23 years since Reality Bites brought an honest breath of fresh air for '90s teens everywhere, and of course the cast are still going strong in showbizz. Winona's doing her thing on Netflix's smash hit Stranger Things, Ethan Hawke bagged a role in the Oscar-nominated Captain Fantastic, and Ben Stiller continues to rock a solid Blue Steel vibe. And, to be honest, they all still look pretty damn good, too — take a look for yourselves:
Lelaina Pierce - Winona Ryder
Best Quote: "Are you religious?"
Michael Grates: "Um, uh, I guess, uh, I guess I'm, uh, a non-practicing Jew."
Lelaina Pierce: "Hey, I'm a non-practicing virgin!"
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Troy Dyer - Ethan Hawke
Best Quote: "Hello, you've reached the winter of our discontent."
Vickie Miner - Janeane Garofalo
Best Quote: "I truly believe that if we can get two women on the Supreme Court, we can get at least one on you."
Sammy Gray - Steve Zahn
Best Quote: "My goal is... I'd like a career or something."
Michael Grates - Ben Stiller
Best Quote: "Have I stepped over some line in the sands of coolness with you?"
Is Reality Bites one of your favorite '90s movies?