REVIEW: YOUNG ADULT
SYNOPSIS: Academy Award® winner Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature who returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson). When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate (Patton Oswalt) who hasn’t quite gotten over high school, either.
REVIEW: There’s just something about Charlize Theron and Mini Coopers. Once again she is behind the wheel of one but oh such a different character. This is Charlize in a different light, in a not so normal role for her and she was brilliant. Even with bad hair days, knockout hangovers, chugging two liter bottles of Diet Coke to counter, and left over makeup from the day before, she still looks good. And she’s not just a pretty face, the goddess can act too! There is some buzz of this performance being Oscar worthy and I can see it. It doesn’t hurt when you have a Diablo Cody story directed by Jason Reitman. That combo brings a very dramatic yet real and grounded film. The digital projection is pretty good too. Was that random or what? I’m a fan of Jason’s work: Thank You For Smoking, Juno, and Up in the Air. In comparison, this one falls in a tie for third place. In other words, compared to these three it’s not that great and yet it’s still a good movie. Huh? Exactly. Jason is an expert at presenting us with typical, everyday, realistic characters and Mavis Gary (Theron) is no exception. Many of you probably know someone just like her, Hello Kitty t-shirt and all. She was the queen of her high school class and on top of the world in small town Mercury, Minnesota. She moves on to establish her “queendom” in the big city of the “Mini Apple” or Minneapolis only to find herself as just another member of the working class. An email from her old high school boyfriend prompts her to return to her hometown to reclaim her throne. With her pocket puppy Pomeranian, Dolce, in hand, she pops her old dedicated cassette into the Mini and heads back to Mercury. Then it’s just like back in high school . . . or is it? She suffers from “can’t let go of the past” syndrome, hard. She buddies up with another former schoolmate, Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt), the unlikeliest of people that someone like her would buddy up with. It is awkward and a dream come true at the same time. With his support, but not his approval, she begins her quest.
As mentioned, Charlize nailed her character. Patton gave the next best performance and he was very well cast for his role. Another member of the cast that I just have to mention is Collette Wolfe as Sandra Freehauf, Matt’s sister. Her role is small but potent. All the characters in this film are down to earth real; one of the aspects that make this film a treat to watch. But the characters are really just a part of the bigger picture which is the story itself. Another noteworthy aspect of the story is the dialogue which is simple at times but sharp and effective overall. One of my favorite words used in this movie which I will not soon forget is Kentacohut, referring to the 3 in 1 Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. I had never heard this term before. This story in the wrong hands could have easily been a flop, but Jason is not one of those people. With his touch we get a quality presentation with good cinematography that turns something that would otherwise be dull into a work of art. My biggest complaint, however, is how the movie ends.
By Cine Marcos
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