MovieChat Forums > Reality BitesĀ (1994) Discussion > What's really wrong with Troy.

What's really wrong with Troy.

Winona Ryder's character really nailed it when she told him that if he really wanted to make it as a singer he needed to practice at least 3 times a day and play somewhere other than the coffee house.

She also nailed him when she said that life doesn't owe you anything.

Troy wants the reward without doing the work. He's smug and overly impressed with himself. His comment about an IQ requirement clearly demonstrates his arrogance. He is a poser.

I saw the ending as tragic. Troy is going to screw the relationship up because he's emotionally immature. When he tells Michael we all die alone and Michael asks him what he's looking for outside on the street that demonstrates that Michael has a far greater understanding of what relationships are about. The irony is that Troy's father doesn't die alone. Troy is at his side.

Did Troy have an epiphany when he saw his father die? He probably did but it will be short-lived.

Michael is not the right guy for Winona either. He might be in another 5 to 10 years but not at that moment. She's still naive and idealistic and hasn't learned what reality is yet. It's extremely unrealistic to expect that a TV network is going to give carte-blanche to a first time filmmaker and buy a show that will tank in the ratings. Her documentary would've been right for the Sundance Film Festival but airing it on "MTV" would have teenagers clicking the remote faster than you can say Reality Bites.

Seeing this movie 16 years after it was originally released gives clarity to what the filmmakers thought of the time they came of age was all about. It oozes with self-importance, judgmentalism and naivete. In other words it was a perfect reflection of the time.


Wow, you really nailed that in the coffin.


Your final paragraph sums up the film perfectly.

The film was released as the "grunge" movement (which Ethan Hawke was often associated with it at the time) was starting to decline. All the post-college worry and angst that Generation-X often talked about soon disappeared as the economy took off in the mid-1990s thanks to technology and the Internet.

I saw "Reality Bites" on cable and remember thinking it was okay. But having seen it again recently on cable, I don't think it holds up.

Do the two films about the Lambada dance hold up (even though the films were released when the Lambada was the craze)?


Post-college worry and angst disappeared?

Dude where have you been?

Contemporary times right now are EVEN WORSE then they were in the recession hit early '90s when this film was made. Times are just as hard right now! This flick is still highly relevant.




I agree with everything you said about Troy. Lelaina wasn't bashing him for being a music artist, but basically said that if he's going to do it he needs to make a full effort.


I agree with the other responses to your post. Your last paragraph sums it up perfectly. And, unlike some of the other threads on this board, it doesn't idealize the grunge era or Gen X or the anti-establishment attitude of the time. It was a generation/time filled with self-importance and naivete. Dead on.

I am not a Frankenstein. I'm a Fronkensteen.


I'll try and nail it in even fewer words: he's bone idle and self-absorbed.


I just saw this movie again for the first time in awhile, and many things bugged me abbout the film. What you said about Troy's character was dead on for me! I never was satisfied with the "happy" ending that Troy and Lelaina ended up together. He just seemed like a complete douche-nozzle to me the whole film. I thought Ben Stiller's character was the nicest and most sane person in the film. Thanks for summing up my feelings so well!


Thank you! I can understand why Ben Stiller's character wasn't "right" for Leliania, but Troy acted like a complete douche the ENTIRE movie and never had ANY redemptive moment. Singing an emotional song and your father dying does not redeem you from your *beep* behavior. Stiller's character may have been clueless about Leliana and her world and values, but at least he tried to be nice to her. Troy was a sharp tongued barnacle for 99% of the film, and I'm supposed to root for him? No.

It's not even about who has a job and who doesn't. I am sick of male characters who treat the women they love like *beep* but because they're "deep," "troubled," and "they really really love them" it's supposed to be ok. Nope nope nope.


excessive caffeine.

Season's Greetings


This is a really good comment. Thanks for sharing your ideas, it certainly give a new meaning to the movie for me.

I saw it like 10 years ago and now I understand it better.

Cool ;)


Short-lived epiphany is a good way to describe it. He got real for a brief time because he got shaken up. That's it.

I like that line where she tells him something to the effect of, "Welcome to the world of the emotionally mature. You might run into Michael. He lives here!" She already identified his pathological emotional reverberations, but she later chooses to ignore that knowledge.

Also, I think Troy went after her because he even though he wasn't ready to commit, he didn't want Michael to have her, either. Of course, Troy didn't have enough self-insight to realize his own motives.

I figured he'd split on her the first time after a couple of months and leave her stuck with the rent.