Glory Daze

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I didn’t much care for Glory Daze (1995). However, it’s worth watching just for the scene where Mary Woronov performs the heimlich maneuver on a very young Sam Rockwell. It’s a scene that’s over in less than a minute but it has all the camp and strangeness of a John Waters film. It’s a brief interlude in a mediocre movie where the cinema suddenly comes alive again.

On the whole Glory Daze is the unattractive and perhaps more honest depiction of Gen X ennui than Noah Baumbach’s bittersweet masterpiece Kicking & Screaming (1996). Glory Daze has no need of wit or subtlety. Glory Daze is blunt, offensive, and repugnant. Its cast is a gaggle of undesirables played by superstars to be. There is no one to root for and no one worthy of sympathy in Glory Daze.

The film follows the last hurrah of five college roommates before parting ways after graduation. The narrator and lead, played by Ben Affleck, is the biggest asshole of a gang of assholes. Yet the film operates on the assumption that Affleck and his crew (Rockwell, French Stewart, Vinnie DeRamus, and Vien Hong) are somehow both charming and relatable. In every situation they find themselves in the film expects the viewer to side with the fuck-head.

Glory Daze is durable only as a snapshot of nineties culture. It’s a time capsule that I suppose may appeal to those who did actually graduate art school in 1995. But for me the only thing Glory Daze had going for it was Mary Woronov.