Young Adult Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 21, 2011
Diablo Cody has previously written Juno and Jennifer's Body, and I got to admit, I really don't enjoy her work. However with Young Adults I was surprised. Charlize Theron is a great actress, and what I love about her is that not only is she beautiful, but she has acting skills and is not just a pretty face. In this film she really delivers a wonderful performance that is funny and sad at the same time. The plot is quite interesting, and I was surprised I enjoyed the film like I did. However the strength of the movie lies with Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt's chemistry and for me, I really felt that it's what made the movie work. Even with my reservations of Cody's work, I'll say that this is her best script, and it is by far better than the overrated Juno. Young Adults combines comedy and drama perfectly and that's only matched by a fine cast and great direction. If you want a great dramatic comedy, then this is the film to watch. Theron is wonderful here and she yet again displays her talent on-screen in a performance that is one of her best in many years. There are things that could have been improved upon, but overall this is an engaging movie that is worth seeing. Young Adults is a fine film that is worth seeing. Charlize Theron does impressive work yet again and is perfect for the part she plays. The film has few flaws, but overall is an entertaining drama with just the right amount of humor to make it interesting.
Super Reviewer
November 27, 2011
Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman team up again to give us a second honest story about the Midwest, and it hits just as hard and contains as many awkward laughs - maybe more - than their first joint, Juno. Charlize Theron repulses in this film as the successful, beautiful New Yorker who comes home to get her dream man and her sense of self back only to implode in the process. It's not a normal film in that it doesn't wrap itself up in a tidy little bow, but rather one with which you hobble toward the ending, hoping to cross the line but worried that you just won't make it. I've read a lot of mixed reviews, and I think the reason is that in places - particularly a baby shower that the titular author ruins - it's completely uncomfortable to watch. A valuable work because it gets down in the trenches, the pain and the mud of the ordinary, the relative-to-the-observer meanings of "normal," or "accomplished," or "happy." A challenging work from the mainstream with a detestable anti-hero, and a film that's the better for it. Jason Reitman is climbing my list of favourite directors.
Super Reviewer
October 3, 2012
A very depressing and horrible film, which has some how drawn me and involved me into it's world. Mavis is such a horrible, uncaring and unchanging character, but something makes me love her and hope that she'll sort herself out one day.
Super Reviewer
½ August 24, 2012
An excellent film. Simply filmed and darkly funny. Theron gives a wonderful performance.
Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2012
'Young Adult' is a charmless film that fails to capture both pathos and my attention. The tone of the film is utterly depressing and carries no redemptive purposes. Although Charlize Theron did a good job acting her pathetic and annoying character, the film feels too agonizing and pointless to even exist. The great acting from the cast just wasn't given a good story to lend their abilities to.
Super Reviewer
February 6, 2012
I don't know why this is so critically acclaimed or even classed as a comedy because its not funny and although primarily a drama this just isnt entertaining and i just didnt see much point to it.
Charlize Theron was very good but i just dont think this was the best movie.
Super Reviewer
½ July 16, 2012
Young Adult is more about the characters rather than the story, although that said, the ending is pretty strong and the film wouldn't be half as good without it. The humour isn't as obvious here as it is in Jason Reitman's previous films but the unbearable sense that you are never completely in control of your own life is very much present. I really do like Jason Reitman's films but I think he needs to consider a slightly different change in direction after this.
Super Reviewer
June 18, 2012
I am not sure why anyone would find this movie entertaining!
Super Reviewer
½ December 19, 2011
The feel bad comedy that sometimes make you feel all icky inside afterward, but you know that you watched something that is actually trying to say something. Some people won't like how dark it is. It has funny moments, but I found it a little inappropriate to laugh at points because this movie pounds you with that feeling you get when you know something just isn't right. Charlize Theron is very good and the supporting actors stand out as well. I felt very uneasy after watching this, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone who doesn't just watch movies for enjoyment.
Super Reviewer
April 22, 2012
Following the success of their previous collaboration "Juno", director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody reunite to bring us another slice of small-town American life. Whether or not is as good as their last outing, depends on your expectations.
Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) is a pathological, self-absorbed bitch. She's already divorced, and dependent on alcohol as she tries to maintain her job as a ghost-writer for a failings series of adolescent books. Having received an e-mail, one day, of news of her ex-boyfriend Buddy (Patrick Wilson) becoming a new father, she heads for her home town determined to reclaim him back from his wife Beth (Elizabeth Reaser) and newborn baby. Mavis will stop at nothing but ultimately, it's herself that she's harming most.
Since her Oscar winning role in "Monster" in 2003, Charlize Theron has had a couple of notable roles but nothing she could really sink her teeth into. This, however, is the best role she's had since then. It's a character she grabs with the scruff of the neck and delivers an excellent and potent performance. Other than her though, I didn't find much else to write home about. Maybe this was because my expectations were too high.? I really enjoyed "Juno" for it's likeable characters and quirky sense of humour and I expected much of the same here but there's very little humour involved. It's actually more of a down-beat character study, dealing with failed aspirations, depression and a path of self destruction. It doesn't make for happy viewing and also doesn't shed much of a positive light on the choices the characters have made in life. To achieve happiness in life is a matter of relevance. At least, that's what I think the message was supposed to be but it could have at least had a character that embodied this. Sure, Buddy and Beth seem like a happy couple on the surface but there's a bit of ambiguity involved. Patton Oswalt delivers some light comic relief as Mavis' new friend and drinking buddy Matt but despite some lighthearted moments from him, he's also quite a tragic character. What chance have you got, when your comic-relief is even struggling in life? As I mentioned, maybe if I was prepared for the down-beat approach beforehand, I'd have settled more into this. It's not a bad film, by any means, but it is a bit sluggish and disheartening.
I've heard this described as a 'tragi-comedy'. It's a good description but I think the emphasis is on the former rather than the latter.Theron is on excellent form and the real highlight here but the material is a little tough to swallow. It has moments of brilliance but too few to fully satisfy.
Super Reviewer
½ May 12, 2012
A smart, simply put together story concerning a lonely young woman (Charlize Theron), suffering from a bad case of nostalgia, who goes back home in order to try to re-connect with her boyfriend from high school (Patrick Wilson), who is married and his wife has just had a child. While it is often depressing, it is extremely well acted, with Theron turning in another regular monstrous performance that keeps the film interesting. Patton Oswalt, who plays a former classmate suffering with a physical ailment due to his days in high school, also turns in one of the most touching, moving performances in a supporting role I have seen in a long time. A lot has been said about writer Diablo Cody, as Family Guy summed up, "She's a no-good call girl who got lucky once! (with "Juno"), however, this film should eternally muzzle critics suggesting she and director Jason Reitman can not replicate their past successes together again. Overall, a nice little movie that goes by fast, and has a lot to say about growing up, not letting something that happened early in your life scar you during your adulthood, and how getting away from an uneasy situation is sometimes the best solution altogether.
Super Reviewer
½ December 24, 2011
A moving, funny and powerful message about the prolonged adolescence, loneliness, not mutual love, depression, prejudice, handicapped people and others serious themes; Young Adult it's the best work by Diablo Cody since Juno with convincing actings by Theron and Oswalt. Fresh.
Super Reviewer
October 9, 2011
Screenwriter Diablo Cody reunited with Juno director Jason Reitman for this dark dramedy (emphasis on drama, depsite how the ad campaign advertised it) about a down and out ghostwriter for a series of young adult novels named Mavis Gary who returns to her hometown for a homecoming event where she tries to relive her past glory days of high school. Back then, she was the uber popular prom queen who had a strong relationship with her high school sweetie Buddy Slade. Nowadays, Buddy is happily married, and father to a newborn. Mavis, on the otherhand, is a burnt out depressed alcoholic who tries her damndest to win buddy back.

While she's back in town Mavis ends up forming a relationship with a former classmate named Matt who she ignored completely through high school, despite have a locker right next to his. It is through her time with Matt however, that Mavis finally starts to grow up and learn how to act like an adult.

As I mentioned, this movie was falsely advertised as seeming like a fun, witty comedy. There's some wit, and some humor, but overall, this is quite a dark little film filled with a number of really painful and awkward scenes that are pretty difficult to sit through at times. It's not always pretty, but it's quite compelling, and I love that the filmmakers had the balls to make the protagonist the least likeable character on screen. You feel bad for Mavis, but sympathizing her doesn't come easy or often.

The film is a great character study though, and definitely got me thinking about my own real life classmates who were a lot like Mavis, and might still be trying to relive the past, even though it's a waste of time. Matt is definitely the best character, and Patton Oswalt's portrayal of him is quite excellent, making him defintely a real talent deserving of far more credit than he's gotten previously. Charlize Theron shines as Mavis, and it's great seeing her play a scuzzy misfit that's not quite as extreme as her take on Aileen Wournos.

All in all, this is an underrated gem that deserves more attention. It sucks that it was mismarketed, and that most people weren't cool with this being as dark, ugly, and uncomfortable as it is, but I found a lot to like, and hope that Reitman and Cody make even more films like this one.
Super Reviewer
½ April 16, 2012
Charlize played her character well in this dark comedy about a 30 something year old stuck in her high school days and can't seem to move on from what she found to be the best times in her life. It was sad to see how someone who seems to have what most people would envy, not happy within themselves. It was somewhat refreshing though for me to watch this film and have some sort of hope that there can be happiness once you go through all the rough patches.
Super Reviewer
½ April 10, 2012
Charlize is very good here, unafraid to show Mavis as the unpleasant person she is. While that is commendable, it does not add up to a completely enjoyable viewing experience. Patton Oswalt matches her fine performance as another emotionally stunted person, and you feel for him more than her. I think this movie had potential, but really fell through at the end, at least for me. Maybe I wanted to feel bad for her, or hate her, or witness her revelations, but I just felt nothing....other than good riddance,
Super Reviewer
March 28, 2012
Charlize Theron is perfect once again after shining as Aileen Wuornos in Monster, making it easy for us to feel sympathy for a character that is so immature and selfish - thanks also to Diablo Cody, who wrote a smart script and really knows how to blend dark humor and bitterness.
Super Reviewer
½ March 30, 2012
Charlize is very good here unafraid to show Mavis as the unpleasant person she is and while that is commendable it does not add up to an enjoyable viewing experience. Patton Oswalt matches her fine performance as another emotional stunted person and you feel for him more than her but for me even with the small glimmer of hope allowed at the end this was a one time view.
Super Reviewer
March 30, 2012
In this bittersweet devotion feature, Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, an underachieving writer who's career is about to go down the toilet. As she receives an email from an old high school lover, she sees that he is happily married with a new born baby. Her mission, while trying to finish her last book in a series that is about to fail, is to rip her old boyfriends life apart and make him fall in love with her all over again. This is definitely one of the best filmed and edited films of 2011 and I must say that it is gripping throughout. Every scene that involves the trio of her, her ex-boyfriend and his wife is gut-wrenching. I was clenching my fists while I hoped for the best outcome there could be. Patton Oswalt's character is also magnificent, as is the rest of the casts performances. He plays a "fat" man who has been brutally beat up and bullied throughout high school and is know becoming Mavis' best friend. I absolutely loved the storytelling structure here, but it felt like everything may have went by a little too fast. Overall, a very impressive film about changing your life.
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2011
Mavis Gary: Sometimes in order to heal... a few people have to get hurt. 

"Everyone gets old. Not everyone grows up."

Young Adult is the darkest comedy I've seen from 2011 and it's easily one of the best also. The acting across the board is tremendous. Charlize Theron gives a depressing and spectacular performance as the vain Mavis Gary. Patton Oswalt plays a handicapped former classmate so well, that many think he got robbed of an Oscar nomination. And Patrick Wilson is pretty good as Mavis' high school boyfriend.

Mavis is a 38 year old, divorced ghost writer. She receives an email telling her that her high school boyfriend and his wife just had a baby. She decides to head back to her hometown, to try to reconnect with her former boyfriend and steal him away from his wife. When she gets to town, she also starts hanging out with Matt, a classmate of hers that she only remembers because he got the shit beat out of him so bad, he became physically disabled. 

The character of Mavis is a deep and depressing one. She embodies everything that is distasteful about "that girl" that is more beautiful than everyone else. She's obnoxious and thinks everyone around her only lives to serve her needs. She doesn't think about how Buddy is really happy with her situation. Instead, she says that he can't be happy because he's tied down and it would only make sense that he would want out of his "hostage" situation. Her character is a weird one, in that it isn't a character you will like, but it may be a character you root for. You don't want her to successfully break up a marriage, you just want her to eventually see herself for what she really is.

Young Adult feature many extremely well executed scenes, but it never completely becomes the film I thought it would. It's still really good, but I believe it could have been much better. But I criticize it because it's way better than the average comedy, and it's also a good and accurate, if depressing, character study. 
Super Reviewer
½ January 12, 2011
Cast: Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt, Elizabeth Reaser, J.K. Simmons, Emily Meade, Collette Wolfe, Brady Smith, Louisa Krause, Jenny Dare Paulin

Director: Jason Reitman

Summary: Taken aback when she receives a letter from an old boyfriend announcing that he's just had a baby with his wife, divorced fiction writer Mavis Gary decides to return to her small hometown and reconnect with her former lover.

My Thoughts: "It's hard to enjoy a film when the main character is such a hot mess and so unlikeable. But I couldn't help feeling absolutely sorry and embarrassed for Mavis. The poor girl has become so depressed and very much an alcoholic. I found it sad that when she brought her may being an alcoholic to her parents attention they laughed it off and moved on. They just dismissed her feelings and refused to see the mess sitting before them. Matt Freehauf was a great releif in this film. His characters humor and straight talk was just what Mavis needed even if she refused to see the truth of it. Mavis is wanting to desperately to hang on to what was because that is when she felt she was OK and at her best. Not this depressed broken shell of what she was. She is so broken that at the end your heart breaks a little for her and you hope she gets herself together. A great performance by Charlize Theron. She played the part honest and raw. She was excellent in the film. Also Matt Freehauf did amazing as well. I liked his character a lot. The scenes with him and Charlize were my favorite. See this if you get the chance."
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