Review: Young Adult

Take the writing of Juno and the direction of Up in the Air and you get a film with sarcastic humor and deadpans but in the context of an empty, unfulfilling life. Sounds like a great addition to the holiday season to me! Take a look at Young Adult:

Charlize Theron is making a serious comeback with this film. She hasn’t done much that brought her acclaim or box office success since The Italian Job and Monster in 2003 (other than the atrocious Hancock), but this movie is putting her back on the map in time for her role in one of the two Snow White films next year. She has already snagged a Golden Globe nomination for this role, and it is very deserved.

Her Mavis is delightfully oblivious, self-obsessed, and just plain crazy. The character is wholly unlikable, and yet Theron makes her work. You hate her, but watching her is seriously good fun.

Mavis returns to her small town in Minnesota from the big city (Minneapolis–a nice touch because, really, who thinks of Minneapolis as a big city?). She is a ghost writer for an ending teen book series and hellbent on reclaiming her high school sweetheart, who happens to be very in love with his wife and new baby girl.

Mavis doesn’t see any of this, but her old high school classmate Matt (Patton Oswalt) does. He was wholly uncool back then, beaten by a group of jocks in high school who thought he was gay (“You’re the hate crime guy!”). Now, the laws of movie formula dictate that Mavis, stuck in her high school mindset will somehow grow up during this film. She will have a character arc.

But this movie might surprise you. It knows the rules of the formula and then decides to break them. Expect to leave feeling like you have something left to process. Young Adult will not do that for you.

Verdict: B+


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