"Hello, you've reached the winter of our discontent..." Can you believe two decades have passed since the release of Reality Bites, Ben Stiller's feature film directorial debut? The 1994 romantic dramedy positioned Ethan Hawke and Winona Ryder opposite Ben in a Gen X love triangle, with a supporting cast that included Janeane Garofalo, Andy Dick, David Spade and Steve Zahn. To celebrate the film's 20th anniversary, we dipped into the ET vaults for interviews with the stars on the set -- and never-before-seen footage of Stiller, Hawke and Garofalo clowning around at the '94 Sundance Film Fest!
A film that perhaps unjustly was positioned to capture the angst and anxieties of Generation X in the early '90s, Reality Bites follows a group of recent college grads in Houston, Texas, who are bouncing between relationships and struggling to jump-start their respective careers. Aspiring filmmaker Lelaina Pierce (played by Ryder) finds herself caught between the musings of philosophical slacker musician Troy Dyer (Hawke) and the promise of a big break via rising star yuppie Michael Grates (Stiller) at his MTV-style TV station. But if she goes for the big break, will she compromise her values and be a commercial sellout in both love and her career?