Post Grad | Family Comedy | rated PG-13 (A,L) | starring Alexis Bledel, Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett, Zach Gilford, Catherine Reitman | 1:28 mins

When career-minded, type-A Ryden Malby (Alexis Bledel) does not get the job of her dreams, the college graduate is forced to move back in with her family – nutty Dad (Michael Keaton), Mom (Jane Lynch, unable to turn down anything), little brother and wishes-she-was dead Grandma (Carol Burnett). As she floats around looking for work she finds herself torn between her exotic new neighbor and her childhood best friend (Zach Gilford).

I went into the Alexis Bledel vehicle Post Grad no clue what it was about and about an hour in I still wasn’t sure. But by then the movie was nearly over so what the heck. And that is kind of the charm of Post Grad. It briskly, effortlessly floats between movie stories – a young adult workplace movie, a romantic comedy, a quirky family movie – without hitting any of them too hard. Light, breezy, not funny but doesn’t take itself too seriously. Were it not for one completely out of place scene where Bledel strips off her shirt with a neighbor and the F word is used it would be an ideal kid’s movie, easily digestible for parents as well.

The Quirky Family Movie does dominate here. The movie OD’s on Malby family pride, loudly trying to be a Disney Channel Little Miss Sunshine, if all of those characters were scripted with crayon. But this is more of a kid’s movie – it doesn’t need to be Little Miss Sunshine. Quirk with a capital Q, Michael Keaton hams it up as the usual Lovable Oaf Dad and Carol Burnett doesn’t entirely embarrass herself as Feisty Grandma. Instead of a beauty pageant, this family bonds over soap box derby racing – an action set piece that feels randomly put in and is executed with all the clunky, low-tech craftsmanship of Rad.

The rest of the movie is carried by Bledel, whose charm, piercing blue eyes and willingness to go with the movie’s gender role reversal keeps it all moving along. The aforementioned soap box race is such a dud primarily because it’s one of the few scenes in the movie not centered around Bledel. I liked that this movie wasn’t a high school or college movie, which would have probably been an easier sell as a vehicle for the Gilmore Girls alumni.

In a movie age where romantic comedies sell themselves with drama, sobs, outrageous misunderstandings and contrived break-up-to-make-up scenarios as if the failure of it’s relationship would lead to the end of the world, I appreciated the casual, feather touch approach of Post Grad toward it’s romance. The movie has none of these cliche contrivances. Even better, it features something of a role reversal with Bledel, the girl, in the role of wronging a guy, begging for forgiveness and trying to win him back. It’s a turn that will probably not be looked favorably on by traditionalists expecting a movie to instill the usual romantic comedy values on their daughters (the guy must wait on you hand and foot), but it was a fresh angle I certainly appreciated.

A third of this movie is kind of enjoyable, the whole Post Grad job search part. Though it sure isn’t Adventureland, the story of a college graduate not getting their planned job has potential. That said, you’ve been warned. I don’t want to underplay how Post Grad is pretty much a dud as a comedy. It tries way too hard and comes off just silly, digging that grave deeper the more it sticks to the Quirky Family element. I’ve certainly seen worse, but it will best be appreciated by Alexis Bledel’s youngest fans.