Young Adult Reviews
Charlize Theron was very good but i just dont think this was the best movie.
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.
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.
"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.
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."