I liked Young Adult – which is somewhat surprising, given how much I hated the last collaboration of Jason Reitman (director) and Diablo Cody (screenwriter): the vastly overrated Juno. I even previously posted about how much I hated Cody’s too-cute-by-a-gazillion “hip teen slang.” I was as embarrassed for Rainn Wilson as I’ve ever been for an actor in a movie – and I’ve seen Pia Zadora’s The Lonely Lady. Most “dark comedies” don’t quite live up to the name, usually either featuring non-dark characters/situations, or ending with a wow-everything-worked-out dance number. Spoiler alert: neither is the case here.
Speaking of embarrassed, I’ve seen two different reviews of The Offspring’s single “Cruising California (Bumpin’ In My Trunk)” and both have prominently featured the word “embarrassing.” Holy sh*t. I just watched it. God. I’ll give that a full paragraph later. Wow. That was worse than Wilson’s lines from Juno. I feel like I need to shower.
Back to YA, I didn’t remember the creative team behind the movie until the credits started rolling, which is probably good since my PTSD symptoms from having to hear an episode of United States of Tara would have likely prevented me from pushing the Purchase button. Either my ear for sh*tty dialogue is getting worse, or Cody really toned it down for this one. I guess I never had a problem with Reitman anyway, Up In The Air was pretty good, as I recall, except for the idiots that brought their six year old with his Gameboy into a 10:00 PM showing in Chelsea, nearly resulting in a very awkward brawl – with all genders, sexual preferences and various races being accounted for.
Anyway, Young Adult is about a seemingly successful writer chick (Charlize Theron, managing to appear delicious despite playing a despicable character) who has moved away from her childhood sh*thole town in Minnesota to the Big City of Minnesota, but finds herself at a bit of a personal crossroads. She concocts a brilliant plan to go back home and recapture some of her magic by winning back her old college boyfriend (Patrick Wilson, who should probably have at least 1/3 of Fassbender’s roles – and I think Fassbender is great, but PW is solid too) who just happens to be married and a brand new dad. Hilarity ensues. Not really. This movie isn’t very laugh-out-loud funny. Maybe one or two instances. It’s more cringe-funny. But it’s def worth seeing, if not on PPV or whatnot, check it out on Netflix when it hits the stream in six years.
Top Five Things About Young Adult
1. Charlize Theron – Manages to seem desperate and pathetic while looking quite hot – that’s a tough line to walk
2. Patton Oswalt – Any review of any movie with Patton Oswalt in it is obligated to say that Patton Oswalt was good in the movie
3. The title – “Young Adult” isn’t just the literary genre of choice for the pro/antagonist, it’s also a sarcastic criticism of her development as a human being
4. Reitman capturing the beauty of a Minnesota Hampton Inn just right – so opulent
5. The main character’s name is Mavis
Bottom Five Things About Young Adult
1. Promotes the use of chicken cutlet bra stuffers – if Charlize Theron is using them, shouldn’t everyone? False advertising
2. Patton Oswalt got nakeder than Charlize Theron – not cool, Reitman – didn’t you see that Sarah Polley got Michelle Williams and Sarah Silverman buck naked recently? It’s all the rage
3. No 110 lb woman can drink that amount of hard liquor without dying
4. Patrick Wilson’s wife seemed like she’d have a darker side to go to (I used “darker” so as not to have to use a SPOILER tag…”darker” suggests that she may have gotten somewhat dark, so you – the reader – will be pretty surprised…unless she happens to grab a f*cking butcher knife and kill everyone, in which case you’ve just been REVERSE SPOILERED)
5. Mavis managed to hit for the Kentucko Hut cycle – or three-legged stool, if you prefer…actually that’s probably more appropriately suggestive language for eating at all three places…I doubt Theron could eat a Dorito Taco and an Original Recipe drumstick, much less power down a couple personal pan pizzas and 3 more items from each place, no matter how bad her hangover.
This movie hit close to home (no pun intended), as I also find myself back in the state where I grew up after having lived in an exotic far-off land and having a glamorous, high-paying job for a decade – no matter that those adjectives might have been more than slightly misleading. Like Mavis, I often find myself shaking my head in disgust (and coincidentally, sometimes while consuming mass quantities of YUM Brands product.) However, I suspect if you find yourself constantly saying “look at all these d*ckheads” then there’s a good chance that YOU might actually be the d*ckhead. I’m probably way too guilty of measuring success based on professional (re: how much cash do you have) success, rather than personal success (nice family, friends, hobbies, other assorted fairy tales). Along those lines there was an interesting article in the Times the other day about how not everyone can be extraordinary – and it’s just in time, since I am trying to shift my “success measurement paradigm” to respect the ability to refresh the NFC West Blog on espn.com thirty times per day just as much as the ability to make tons of dough or have, like, friends. Hmmm, I guess that wasn’t very philosophical, after all. Well the title is done, so hopefully somebody will read that Times article and do their own philosophizing.
Finally, Offspring – what the f*ck???? Is this thing a joke, or what? I understand wanting to get some 19 year old surfer girls in skimpy bikinis on your bus, but does the song have to be so ridiculous? And are you guys older than me? This evokes Rebecca Black far more than “Come Out And Play”…I think this might actually be a massive joke.