Posted on 9/18/12 05:29 PM
Director Greg Mottola charmed moviegoers back in 2007 with his comedy Superbad, which went on to be a pretty big hit commercially and critically. Two years later, Mr. Mottola delivered another movie, Adventureland: this one based on his miserable experience working at an amusement park after college. Adventureland may lack some of the humor presented in Superbad and may seem painfully slow at times, but it's still a nice coming-of-age story that anyone can enjoy.
The year is 1987. College graduate James Brennan is looking forward to a summer trip to Europe until his parents announce that they cannot fund his trip. Severely disappointed at this news, James unsuccessfully searches for a job that could earn him some easy money: after all, he IS a poetry major. Almost out of options, James reluctantly accepts a job at the local run-down amusement park, Adventureland.
Out of his element at this new job, James soon stumbles along co-worker Em after nearly being stabbed by a park patron. James slowly begins to relate to and fall in love with Em, and things aren't looking so bad. Of course, it can't be that simple though: issues soon spring up involving the park mechanic Connell, and the relationship hits a few bumps along the way, possibly ending it entirely.
Sure, Adventureland's plot isn't the most creative story, but the superb acting makes up for it. Jesse Eisenberg, one of my favorite actors, is always a fun character to watch, making you smile by his sort of awkwardness and ingenuity. Surprisingly, I actually REALLY enjoyed Kristen Stewart's performance. I'm not a fan of her performances in the Twilight movie series, but she was a very likable character in this film. Ryan Reynolds, however, isn't anything special, much like the character he portrays, even if he is a central plot point.
However, Adventureland isn't all work and no play: the film isn't without its Superbad-esque comedy. As well as being a serious, coming-of-age story, Adventureland actually is a pretty funny movie. The owners of Adventureland provide comic relief amid the struggling relationship between James, Em, and Connell, and James's friend, who loves to hit James in "no-man's land", is sure to get several laughs.
As more of an artistic film than a summer blockbuster, the film occasionally dragged in parts. The slow conversations between characters are undeniably charming, but they can also be painfully slow and a tad boring. However, when the events pick up and you're immersed in the moment, it breezes by in an instant, and leaves you wanting more.
Adventureland may not be the most creative movie out there, but the charming story is backed up by fantastic acting from Eisenberg and Stewart, who really surprised me. Fans of Greg Mottola's last film, Superbad, should check out this movie, whether you're a teenager looking forward, or an adult looking back. The movie may be too slow for some peoples' liking, but the charming chemistry between the two stars is enough to sell this movie.