Young Adult - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Young Adult Reviews

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½ March 1, 2016
In 2007, writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman teamed up to create a sharply observed, endlessly edgy and strikingly witty teen drama with a slant, Juno. This dark comedy was memorable for the sum of its well measured ingredients and its unusually crisp screenplay that explored life at its unfiltered best.

Rewarded for their efforts with three Academy Award nominations and one win (for best screenplay), they proved that not only is humour notoriously subjective but it is also worth its weight. Other writers have utilised the concept of self-aware, overly verbose characters churning out countless rom-coms made from the same mould; as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

In 2011, the duo has reformed in an attempt to rekindle that magic with Young Adult and put the flattering copycats in their place. Sadly however, the cultural shtick has been exhausted and the icy human observations of a train wreck waiting to happen character is no longer funny, not even in the bleak way.

Broken from her recent divorce, the boozy, unprincipled and profoundly unhappy Mavis Gray (Charlize Theron) lives a zombie-like existence in the mini-apple of Minneapolis. A ghost-writer for a failing series of young-adult novels, Mavis suffers from an acute case of writer's block and a belated belle-of-the-high-school-ball grandeur complex that only her ever patient fluffy toy dog Dolce can tolerate long term.

When she receives an email with a picture of a beautiful baby girl and an announcement that her ex home town sweetheart Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) has become a father, Mavis's mental state hits rock bottom. Waking from her stupor, Mavis becomes obsessed with the idea that she can simply blow back into her honky-tonk small home town of Mercury and reclaim the long forgotten romance between her and Buddy.

After contacting buddy and arranging a time appropriate drink the following day, Mavis heads to the nearest bar. Downing the first of many drinks, the ultimately blunt Mavis becomes engaged in a painful conversation with former classmate Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt) about his high school tortures and his life now as an overweight cripple.

Unable to overcome his own demons, Matt lives at home, makes moonshine and paints miniature figurines, but when Mavis shares her secret plan to steal buddy back all Matt's issues pale in comparison to the psychotic prom queen's insecurities.

Mavis's rosy mist of denial makes it impossible to hear the harsh home truths and no amount of wake up calls and woeful looks can penetrate her armour. Dealing with each uncomfortable situation with the same amount of in indignation leads to a mixture of hilarious and truly tragic situations as Mavis's life finally goes belly up. Sometimes home is not sweet home.

Theron seamlessly transitions from beautiful seductress to memorably mean mental case, making viewers laugh and squirm as required; Oswalt's underlying current of melancholy is ever present and well balanced with the character, when these two are on screen together you can feel the good intentions driving the film, even if you can't sink into them.

The Verdict: Slightly off balance and constantly teetering on the edge, Young adults never falls into either funny or moving. Like Mavis, viewers are left wanting in life and love for this hollow film.

Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 27/01/2012
February 22, 2016
Restores (a bit) of faith in Diablo Cody, and the self-critiquing way in which this was written by her is pretty hilarious and kind of admirable. Charlize Theron is great and really gets the balance between being funny while also showing the hypocrisy of the character that's ultimately based on deep insecurity. Patton Oswalt does quite well too. Mostly it is a fascinating and sad character study that I really liked.
½ February 14, 2016
Theron's acting is amazing in this one.
½ October 15, 2015
I loved this movie, and for me, it did what I think Blue Jasmine did for the critics at the time. It's a sobering character study of a woman whose narcissistic shell has started to crumble, as age and alcoholism have rendered her unlikely to get that 'specialness' constantly validated. Young Adult can be incredibly painful to watch, but there's truth behind every line; Charlize Theron's incredible talent makes her pro/antagonist character pitiful rather than hateable. The last 25 minutes or so in particular are particularly wrenching, yet a masterclass in understated acting.
October 11, 2015
An acting tour de force of Charlize Theron, true actress. One of those movies that you really like to rewatch eventually.
September 13, 2015
Severely dark and completely believable in every way.
August 25, 2015
Charlize theron gives one of the best performances out there in "Young Adult", Diablo Cody's hilarious and acidic passion project about a washed-up, stuck-in-high-school author who has sorely misread the world around her. Her performance is so good you sympathize even when she's doing things you know are awful, and her realizations of her mental issues are crushingly melancholy and brilliantly constructed. Young Adult is not just great because of her performance, however. It's great because Cody's script allows it to be completely multidimensional -- it's consistently laugh-out-loud funny, with some bitter, mean lines that make you drop your jaw in pure shock. It's one of the most absorbing, funny, and oddly heartbreaking films in recent years.
½ August 21, 2015
Good flick. Charlize is excellent. It can be a little hard to stomach for those who went through those awkward high school years. However, the story is great, the acting is great, and the reality of life definitely comes through.
August 6, 2015
A moving story about a woman who tries to relive her glory days by going back to her hometown and getting her high school sweetheart back. 'Young Adult' serves as a wonderful showcase for all star actress Charlize Theron and a breakthrough performance for actor Patton Oswalt, who plays Matt, a former classmate. Diablo Cody doesn't disappoint with her unique writing style. I've seen this film several times since the theatres and it only gets better each time. Easily Diablo Cody's best film overall and a thunderstruck performance for Charlize Theron. Love love LOVE this movie.
July 27, 2015
It's not as bad as people are saying, great performance by Theron and Oswalt, I've never seen Oswalt in such deep role, and of course Theron is always great. Unfortunaty the story is bad, the back story of Therons character is completely missing what happen between high school and now? what was the deal with her ex husband ? and the ending is complete dull, the middle was great, directing was great, the flow of the story pulls this movie down. So for this being my thoughts about this movie, I give "Young Adult" a solid C.
June 24, 2015
I failed to enjoy the movie that much for its entertainment value. However, I have to admit that Charlize Theron does a masterful job with the part. By the end of the movie I could not have disliked her more and maybe even hated her a bit and I realized that all my emotions were directed at a fictional character in a movie. That the writer and the actress were able to evoke these emotions is what most movies fail to do. Still, if given a chance and knowing what I know now, I would have passed on this one
½ June 12, 2015
Young Adult is powered with a fantastic performance by Charlize Theron, With a very complex and tedious mental state. Is depressing, embarrassing and sometimes funny. 3.5/5
June 2, 2015
The trailers for Young Adult suggest it's comedic. They're wrong. Young Adult is definitely more dark than funny and unfortunately I don't think a lot of people are going to want to see it for the holidays. It's their loss. I think it's a fascinating character study. Charlize Theron, excellent as ever, plays a depressed alcoholic who tries to steal back her married ex-boyfriend. She's amoral to a fault, but we can't look away from her mistakes. We're so drawn to her. This may be the most likable bitchiest character to ever hit the screen.
May 26, 2015
Don't market me a comedy and deliver a drama. False expectations hinder my experience. Slow, kind of pointless and really not that engaging.... well acted though, I'll give 'em that.
½ May 23, 2015
Witty and Intelligent... much better than that disappointment that was JUNO.
½ May 7, 2015
Had great potential, started off with a sort of indie-reunion movie vibe that seemingly wouldn't disappoint, but mid-way through, you find yourself disappointed. Especially with the ending which was, a complete buzzkill.
½ May 3, 2015
Charlize Theron is wonderful here, and the rest of the cast is superb as well. my main problem with the film is i wish she was a little meaner. She's not so much a despicable character as everyone is saying, i think shes more pathetic and nuts. Also the film is kinda slow, and being from Diablo Cody i thought it could have been funnier.
May 2, 2015
Charlize Theron turns in a great performance as extremely troubled "Young Adult" author Mavis Gary. Throughout the film she demonstrates a lot of emotion especially immaturity with everything her character goes through. While some things about her character are a mystery, the script gives you enough so you are both with and against her character. While at times the film leaves you with an uncomfortable feeling, it remains a great character portrayal that is both hilarious and depressing that by the end you won't know how you feel. A-
April 11, 2015
Unexpectedly serious study of a lost soul. If Michael Fassbender gave the best male performance of 2011 in Shame -- Charlize Theron gave us the finest turn by a female actor in this highly intelligent cinematic work. Paramount really failed the movie in the way it was promoted. I think many expect it to a be comedy. It isn't. This is a tragic story with a few realistic comedic turns. Sad societal commentary.
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