Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Young Adult (2011) - Review

That's one tagline that can't be undid, Diablo Cody
The rite of passage known as "growing up" is something that has always confounded me completely.  So many are eager to start their lives, become responsible, etc, and I've always struggled with it.  I don't necessarily believe that you have to subscribe to the traditional notion of adulthood (wow so hipster cool, bro) but this movie is a sad and depressing tale of someone who takes avoiding responsibility to an extreme.

Charlize Theron's character Mavis is a young adult fiction writer and a young adult in personality (GET IT?), and the story tells of her despondent return to her hometown to rekindle her former love with the always entertaining Patrick Wilson.  Along the way she connects with equally losery Matt, played wonderfully by Patton Oswalt and deals with a downward spiral of depression as she hopelessly tries to recapture her youth.

This movie is written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman, the pair behind Juno, which I do like.  However, the script is much tighter and less "hey look how ironically hip I am, homeskillet diggity dog" from Diablo Cody as she manages to create a very realistically damaged pair of main characters that are actually interesting.  The acting is great all across the board and the whole film has a much darker feel than the duo's previous attempt.

Young Adult is one of those indie-ish movies that's kind of hard to watch because it feels a little too real, less manufactured than the average dramedy.  Tonally, it reminds me a lot of Paper Man and Our Idiot Brother; there's a fair bit of comedy there, though essentially all of these films are about extremely troubled main characters with some pretty severe psychological conditions.  In that sense, it's a bit too real, but it's a great take on the subject, even if it is a bit depressing.

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