Saturday, December 17, 2011

Young Adult

Movie Name: Young Adult
Year of Release: 2011
Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson, Elizabeth Reaser, Collette Wolfe, Jill Eikenberry, Richard Bekins, Mary Beth Hurt, Kate Nowlin, Louisa Krause
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Jason Reitman is back, following the huge hit that was "Up in the Air" with George Clooney. "Young Adult" teams him back with Diablo Cody, the screenwriter whom he worked with on "Juno", which also garnered lots of accolades and awards. "Young Adult" follows the life of Mavis Gary, a writer for young adult books, who has gone through a divorce and who's an alcoholic. Upon knowing that her high school boyfriend and his wife had a new baby, Mavis decides to go back to her old town and win him back. Mavis wants to get back the life she had when she was popular and younger, and nothing will deter her from it.
Jason Reitman again tackles a character that seems at odds with the world. All the characters from his previous films are either too smart for their environment or uncompromising in their own choices. Mavis is a woman who has never really grown up, who knows she has reached a dead end in her life, but who doesn't want to deal with any problems. Mavis has checked herself out from any type of responsibility for her life. Jason Reitman smartly makes the character interact with Matt Freehauf, an old friend from high school who had troubling issues of his own, and who is a surrogate conscience. Mavis however is not one cliche character who has an epiphany and suddenly her life is transformed - she continues to be flawed and deeply human. That's what makes this film so enticing and interesting. Charlize Theron is fantastic as Mavis Gary, showing the real extent of her delusion and bitterness. As she did in "Monster" (the film from Patty Jenkins that won her the Oscar), she goes beyond her beauty to showcase the depth of a real person. A good film not to be missed.