December 19, 2011

Young Adult - 2011

Director: Jason Reitman
Writer: Diablo Cody
Starring: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson

Young adult fiction writer Mavis Gary (Theron) leaves her swanky Minneapolis apartment for a brief return to the small town in which she grew up in an attempt to steal her old high school flame Buddy Slade (Wilson) from his "unhappy" life as a new father. 

Quick sidenote: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the nominating body for the Golden Globes, often comes under fire for "mis"-categorizing certain films in an attempt to recognize movies that might not get one otherwise. This is about to become very important.

Jason Reitman, son of legendary filmmaker Ivan Reitman (and brother of YouTube film critic Catherine Reitman), has made three incredible films so far, and Young Adult makes four. This should come as no surprise to anyone. However, this is his reunion with Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody, who (despite an Oscar win) many rail against because of her unique dialogue choices in her first two scripts. These critics have finally been silenced, as Young Adult contains none of this stylized dialogue. In addition, Theron's character seems significantly modeled after Cody herself (a small-town Minnesota girl who moved to the big city and became famous), and when the writer's soul is as apparent as it is here, it makes for a very high quality product. That said, don't let certain award nominations and marketing make you think this is a comedy. Sure, there's jokes around a few corners of the script, but it's ultimately a film about an emotionally damaged woman who values the halcyon days of yore far too much, unable to relate to others. Theron is unparalleled, however, in the emotional depth that the role requires. She's clearly come quite a long way from Children of the Corn III. Patton Oswalt (voice of Remy in Ratatouille and star of the criminally underseen Big Fan) does an even more tremendous job, portraying a high school classmate with a horrifyingly tragic past. This is one of those films we need more of, so please go see it theatrically. A

1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything except the use of the word "swanky" to describe her apartment. It is not really swanky at all. In fact, for a female so obsessed with appearances and material goods, it's pretty slummy. The only thing that could muster a bit of "swank" would be her balcony. In the city, those are pretty swanky.