7 relatable movies to stream about post-grad life

7 best post-grad movies to watch

For the emotional seniors on the brink of the real world, this one’s for you.
Published: May 5, 2019
Reality Bites movie scene
"Reality Bites" (1994) follows a group of 20-somethings trying to find their way in the world.

It’s a strange time for seniors, who are now coming to terms with the fact that the schooling system that’s guided their entire lives so far is finished. (Unless you’re a grad student, but it still won’t be the same.) A routine of cramming for finals and going out on Tuesday nights may soon change to awkwardly trying to befriend coworkers and filing taxes. So, there’s never been a better time to round up some friends, gather some snacks, and watch movies that will bring on the laughter, tears or both as we move on from college.


1. “The Graduate” (1967)

Where to stream: Netflix

This had to make the list because you are its namesake. It’s a perfect option for someone who does not have post-grad plans, and is possibly interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with their neighbor. If you don’t exactly fit that description, you can still enjoy the award-winning actors Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft and the birth of the, “Hello darkness my old friend” meme.


2. “Take Me Home Tonight” (2011)

Where to stream: Amazon Prime (rent/purchase) or watch for free if you have DirecTV

Topher Grace (Eric from That 70’s Show) stars alongside Anna Faris in this flick set in 1980s Los Angeles. He’s working at a video store while trying to figure out what he really wants to do, but doesn’t want to admit that when he runs into his high school crush. It’s your classic “lie to seem impressive” scenario, and thus comedy ensues. Note: This one’s also perfect if you’re still a little heartbroken over Anna Faris and Chris Pratt’s divorce, as they’re dating in this movie.

3. “Reality Bites” (1994)

Where to stream: Amazon Prime (rent/purchase) or watch for free if you have Starz

A classic 90s hit movie starring none other than our favorite 90s actress, Winona Ryder. While Winona and her friends are trying to navigate the real world, she films them to create a mockumentary about post-grad life. The characters in this movie present very realistic post-grad lives, and although it focuses on the problems Gen X faced after graduating, surely millennials/Gen Z can relate.

4. “Tiny Furniture” (2010)

Where to stream: Amazon Prime (rent/purchase)

This one goes out to all the film students who are going home after graduation and might be feeling a little lost. It’s written and directed by Lena Dunham and stars her real mother and sister. Lena says this movie only cost $65,000 to produce, so at the very least let this movie inspire you to round up another round of tuition and make a home movie– it might just receive 6.2/10 on IMDB.

5. “The Last Days of Disco” (1998)

Where to stream: Amazon Prime (rent/purchase) or watch for free if you have Starz

The Last Days of Disco tries to encapsulate the feeling of still trying to live a fun, exciting life post-grad, but also balance more serious issues like figuring out a career. With two female leads, Chloe Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale, navigating life in NYC in the 1980s, this becomes a perfect option for a girl’s night in. (Also you can see Kate when she was actually Pete Davidson’s age!)

6. “Adventureland” (2009)

Where to stream: Amazon Prime (rent/purchase)

From the same director as Superbad, Adventureland also features an all-star cast with Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, and Ryan Reynolds to name a few. Jesse’s parents drop the bomb on him that they won’t be able to afford the European post-grad trip he’d be planning so he resorts to working at a local amusement park. This movie just goes to show that maybe in order to “find yourself” before starting real life all you need is a part-time summer job and a group of quirky co-workers.


7. “Kicking and Screaming” (1995)

Where to stream: Netflix

No, this isn’t “Kicking and Screaming” starring Will Ferrell. It’s actually the post-grad movie you need if you’re feeling a little scared to ever leave SU. The main characters graduate but feel insecure about how to proceed into the future, so they hang around campus for a few more months. Watching these upper-middle-class boys fumble around with “adulting” might make you feel like you’re doing just fine… or maybe it will motivate you to rev up that job search.

The fact that a lot of these movies were produced in past decades, or are set in past decades, shows that there haven’t been too many recent portrayals of post-grad life. So if a VPA or TRF senior is reading this, maybe they can call up their fellow classmates and let them know about this potential post-grad opportunity.

Congratulations class of 2019!