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Charlize Theron is a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown in Young Adult

 

 
Overview
 

Genre: ,
 
Starring: , ,
 
Directed By:
 
Studio:
 
MPAA Rating:
 
Release Date: December 16, 2011
 
Length: 94 minutes
 
Directing
9.0


 
Plot
7.0


 
Acting
9.0


 
Cinematography
8.0


 
Total Score
8.3
8.3/ 10


 

Whoa


Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt (who provides enough comic relief to keep the film from becoming a downer) have some great chemistry.

No


Patrick Wilson doesn’t bring much to Buddy Slade, but the role is pretty one-dimensional to begin with, and the same goes for his wife Beth (played by Elizabeth Reaser).


Bottom Line

A dark comedy that addresses just how difficult growing up can be (even in your 30s), the film succeeds on the basis of Reitman’s sharp direction and some fine acting.

1
Posted December 18, 2011 by

 
Full Review
 
 

Nineties references abound in Young Adult, the new film that pairs director Jason Reitman with writer Diablo Cody (the two worked in tandem on 2007’s Juno).

With songs by ‘90s rockers Dinosaur Jr, the Replacements, the Lemonheads and Veruca Salt, the soundtrack is an expression of the central character’s affinity for the past. But the movie is hardly a case of simple nostalgia. A dark comedy that addresses just how difficult growing up can be (even in your 30s), the film succeeds on the basis of Reitman’s sharp direction and some fine acting.

The plot centers on Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), a teen lit writer obsessed with her high school years when she was the center of attention in a small Minnesota town and “at her best.” She returns home to win back high school sweetheart, Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson). Recently divorced, Mavis is a heavy drinker whose polarizing personality overshadows her good looks. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more unlikable protagonist.

Her first night in town, Mavis runs into Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt), a former high school classmate who was beaten up by a group of jocks who suspected him of being gay. Though they couldn’t be much different from each other (Matt is a doughy, self-procalimed Star Wars-loving nerd who brews bourbon in his garage and works at the local sports bar), the two connect and Mavis shares her plan to win back Buddy and save him from what she believes can only be a miserable existence as a new father in a one-horse town with a wife that isn’t her. Matt tells Mavis that Buddy is happily married and she’d be better off if she just left him alone, but Mavis isn’t easily swayed. She even shows up at the christening of his child and causes a scene fueled by alcohol and rejection. In the end, Mavis almost learns something about herself and opening up to the world, then promptly leaves that learning behind to take a much easier route back to narcissism.

Theron and Oswalt (who provides enough comic relief to keep the film from becoming a downer) have some great chemistry. Wilson doesn’t bring much to Buddy Slade, but the role is pretty one-dimensional to begin with, and the same goes for his wife Beth (played by Elizabeth Reaser). Still, this movie has enough going for it that a somewhat pedestrian script can’t keep it down.


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One Comment


  1.  

    I liked the review since it doesn’t ctriicize Theron’s character as much as the other articles about the film. The auther rather tries to find the psychological background of her behaviour & the possible motivations.The heroine seems to be so recognizable. There are moments ( & they are more then just a few) when you can’t but sympathize Mavis despite all of the tricks she plays.She is vulnerable, with no real confidence in herself, & surely not grown out of her teenage illusions She is the way she is( like all the characters of the film) & in the end I believe she manages through these dramatic experiences to leave some moment of the past in the past & maybe move to a bettter & more fulfilling future.





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