Sunday, April 29, 2012

Young Adult (2011)

by DionysusPsyche

Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), a deadbeat writer, decides to visit her hometown of Mercury in an attempt to swoop in and steal her high school sweetheart away from his wife and child. Her old classmate, and less popular peer, Matt (Patton Oswalt), tries to stop her from ruining the life of her old flame.

First impressions
So much mixed tape action! Although Mavis writes teen fiction, once back in her old town, you can actually see a high school dynamic taking place. Not in a weird Never Been Kissed kind of way, but in a way that happens when people go home. It's fun to listen to her voice overs of the book she's writing which mirror her own feelings on the current situation.

The good and bad
Mavis's behavior is irredeemable in many ways, sophomoric, and completely awkward to watch. Trying to run away with a married man is a bad idea, but her attempts at flirting and causing jealousy are not fun to watch or remotely amusing. What I did like was her unlikely (or in film world, predictable) friendship with Matt. They also point out each other's weaknesses which is more than regular movies where friends' blatant remarks would almost never actually happen.

Mavis's parents are cute. It's clear their intentions are good, but the main character's holier than thou and immature attitude show that all efforts in kindness and good will go unappreciated.

The painful awkwardness throughout the movie casts a splinter over the movie. It doesn't get any better until it reaches its peak then fades off. This is the one thing I disliked most about the movie, which actually puts it on par with my review of Bad Teacher.

Mavis wants to travel back to a time when she feels she was better although as Matt puts it she was not better. She may be broken, but Mavis's admissions of mistakes are a long time coming. Ultimately, she realizes that it is time to move on.

My feelings on this movie are mixed. Parts of it are enjoyable, but the over all unevenness of the film and lack of turnaround for the main character make me unable to truly recommend it. If the denouement of the film was more commendable or the flinch-inducing scenes weren't quite so bad, I would recommend it. Diablo Cody is the writer for this and Juno although I enjoy the latter more. Unfortunately, I found Young Adult a waste of time to rent.

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