When “Reality Bites’ was released Feb. 18, 1994, it received mixed reviews. In the last 27 years, it has become a cult classic thanks in part to a great cast featuring Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo, Steve Zahn, and Ben Stiller who also made his directorial debut. The movie is about a group of friends in Houston and their struggles as young adults dealing with jobs, relationships, and the social issues of the early 90′s. “Reality Bites” captures the early Gen X grunge mood.
The soundtrack was another standout in this movie. There were 5 songs that were in rotation on radio and MTV. After Split Enz split up, Neil Finn founded Crowded House and had 2 songs in the movie including “Something So Strong”. Other songs you might remember from the film came from U2 with “All I Want Is You”, Squeeze “Tempted”, and “Conjunction Junction” from Schoolhouse Rock!.
One of the most memorable scenes is when the friends start dancing inside the gas station after they hear The Knack’s “My Sharona” on the radio.
An unknown singer/songwriter, Lisa Loeb, was Ethan Hawke’s friend and neighbor. He shared one of her songs with director Ben Stiller. He loved it and “Stay (I Missed You)” became a #1 hit. In the process, Lisa Loeb became the first artist to top the Hot 100 chart before being signed a record label. The song ranks #93 on VH1′s list of the “100 Greatest Songs Of The 90′s”.
Who could forget the video? Ethan Hawke directed it using just 2 non-stop camera shots and it only took 2 takes.
Happy 27th anniversary to “Reality Bites”. Released Feb. 18, 1994. Enjoy the cult classic and sing-a-long with the great soundtrack!
-- Doug O’Brien