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Film review: 'Grad' misuses talented cast

Alexis Bledel and Zach Gilford star in "Post Grad."
Alexis Bledel and Zach Gilford star in "Post Grad."
Suzanne Tenner

POST GRAD — ★½ — Alexis Bledel, Zach Gilford, Michael Keaton; rated PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, violence, brief sex, slurs, brief drugs, nude artwork); in general release

What switches "Post Grad" from the ranks of the merely mediocre films to the lower rungs of really awful ones is its misuse of a lot of talented and funny people.

Among the supporting cast members who are left adrift by this predictable and stupid comedy are actors Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett and J.K. Simmons, and comedians Demetri Martin, Fred Armisen and Craig Robinson.

Few if any of them are given anything remotely funny or rewarding to do, though that doesn't stop them from trying to make this material better. They try a little too hard, as a matter of fact …

Of course, it doesn't help that the movie boasts yet another robotic performance from its star, Alexis Bledel. She plays the improbably named Ryden Malby, a recent college graduate with big dreams for her future.

Unfortunately, none of those dreams pan out and Ryden is forced to move back home with her parents (a mismatched and chemistry-free Keaton and Lynch).

About the only calming voice in this chaos is Adam Davies (Zach Gilford), Ryden's best friend, who's been not-so-secretly in love with her for years.

But the shoulder she seeks for consolation is her hunky next-door neighbor, infomercials director David Santiago (Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro).

As self-absorbed as Ryden is, we're not really sure if we should be rooting for the film's supposed heroine.

If anything, her best pal's dilemmas are more interesting and more believable — he's not sure whether to go to law school or become a musician, and he's at odds with his widower father (Simmons).

"Post Grad" is rated PG-13 and features occasional strong profanity (including one usage of the so-called "R-rated" curse word), other vulgar sexual humor and references (some frank talk), other off-color humor (some involving animal feces), brief violence (a pair of automotive mishaps, one of them involving a pet), some brief sexual contact (mostly overheard or implied), derogatory language and slurs, brief drug content (various prescription medicines), and glimpses of nude paintings. Running time: 89 minutes.