When most see Glory Daze they see it as just another low-budget indie film without much to offer. That could be the case, but for most (yes, even people outside the 18-34 demographic) will be able to see something more from the movie.
The movie follow five friends who live in a house they call “El Rancho.” They are all going to college at University of California-Santa Cruz. Jack (Ben Affleck) deals with is commanding parents. Dennis (French Stewart) contemplates going to graduate school or not. Rob (Sam Rockwell) wonders if he should move to Los Angeles with his girlfriend or not.
After finishing the movie it really struck a chord with me. A lot of the issues dealt with in the movie are ones college students deal with all the time. Here are the four things I noticed that were addressed in Glory Daze:
Not being sure what you want to do in life
Jack (Ben Affleck) struggles with this throughout the entire movie. He is nearing his college graduation and he is not sure of what to do. In fact he has no idea what to do. Like many college students in real life, his parents start pressuring him. “You need to get a job Jack.” “You graduated, what are your plans now?” Jack doesn’t know how to answer these questions. He tries to dodge his parent’s persistence. He does not want to work at some corporate 9 to 5 job. He does not like doing mindless work for someone else’s dream. He wants to follow his dream. He is an artist. He is not sure of how to reach his dream.
Dennis (French Stewart) deals with the decision of going to graduate school or working as an assistant at the university. Many graduating college seniors contemplate this. Should I go to graduate school or not? Not sure of if they will get a job after graduation, many students apply for graduate school. They believe that extra degree will make them “more competitive” in the workforce. Being more close to the plot of the movie, some students know they want to go to graduate school but are not sure if they should postpone it or not. Should they work for a few years after graduation or go straight to graduate school? Dennis faces this proposition in the movie when one of his professors ask him to stay on as his assistant.
Moving to a new city is a tricky proposition. College students think about the prospect of a new city as they get closer to graduation. Rob (Sam Rockwell) faces this when his question when his longtime girlfriend asks him to move to Los Angeles with her. Graduating college students often wonder if moving to a new city will help them out in life. Does the new city have good job opportunities? Do I need to move there for my career? Should I move even though I have a lump of student loans on me? Questions and anxiety swirl through students minds when they wonder what they should do. The same questions and anxiety happen to Dennis in the movie.
Wondering how all these topics are answered? Go grab some popcorn and maybe a few friends and watch Glory Daze. It is currently on Netflix Instant.
New York Times Movie Review of Glory Daze.