Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Review: Young Adult
An 'Adult' Comedy That Could Please 'Young' Viewers
Director Jason Reitman, who also gave us films like Juno and Up in The Air, successfully goes back to his Juno roots and reunites with screenwriter Diablo Cody with the relatively new dramedy that is Young Adult.
Young Adult is about a young adult novelist named Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) who goes back to her old town named Mercury, Minnesota under the pretense that she is looking for real estate property. But she is actually looking to reunite with an old flame named Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) who just happens to be married and with a kid. Along the way, she connects with a former high school classmate named Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt) who was the victim of a hate crime that left him permanently injured in this unique dramedy that shows how boys will be boys and girls will be girls, some longer than others.
What I Liked About It:
Unsurprisingly, I loved Charlize Theron's performance. I feel that every role that Theron takes on turns into gold, and her role in this is certainly no exception. She does a great job at playing a character who is naïve and we at first come to dislike, but manages to provide us some laughs and make us realize that her character is not as shallow as she may seem. I especially loved the astounding chemistry between her and Patton Oswalt. That in my opinion, was the high point of the film.
While I did love how Theron and Oswalt comically played off each other, my favorite scene between them was ironically, one of the film's more dramatic scenes. The scene where they confront each other about being stuck in the past, which is a theme that plays a huge part in the storyline. I even love the film's opening song, "The Concept" by Teenage Fanclub. Pretty catchy tune.
What I Didn't Like About It:
Now, the only thing I didn't like was how some of the side characters weren't fleshed out as much. In particular, Patrick Wilson and Elizabeth Reaser, who plays Buddy's wife Beth, weren't given a whole lot to do. Not saying they were useless by any means because they were essential to the plot, there just isn't much exploration given to their characters.
Despite my minor gripes with the character development of some of the side characters, there is nothing else that I hate about this movie. Young Adult is a smartly written comedy that has heavy dramatic themes, stellar performances from the two lead actors and shows us how we all grow old, but not everyone grows up. Another dynamite effort from Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman, who is becoming one of my favorite modern filmmakers.