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Main | Happy-Go-Lucky »
Tuesday
Sep082009

Adventureland

 

 

Believe when I say that I did not expect to like this movie. Yes, I like Kristen Stewart and am obsessed with her as Twilight babe, but didn't really want to think of her as a theme park employee. But when my BFF said she had to see anything that Kristen does, I went along for the ride. And I LOVED IT!.  This movie is sweet, poignant and, at times, hilarious. I know it is a 'teen' movie, but it has a lot of meaning for adults. First of all Jesse Eisenberg completely reminds me of the geeky guys I used to fall for when I was in college. I could practically smell him during the first kiss and hug scene. Oh young love and the vision of what love could be! Kristen Stewart is good as the ignored child with the mean stepmother. Her parents were a bit of a stereotype, but I like I said, this is a movie for teens a.k.a. all parents are evil. There is a classic moment when Jesse goes out with the hot babe named Lisa P to a fancy restaurant. I won't spoil it by telling you, except that I shared it with my wine club friends several times.

The DVD extras are good. Because I am so obsessed with this film, I enjoyed hearing that it was based on Greg Mottola's experience working as a carnie at the real life Adventureland. The deleted scenes are okay but I know there are more on that cutting room floor that they did not share. No fair!

A must see for adults and teens 14+. Nothing too offensive on the birds and bees, but there is a lot of smoking and drinking.

Amazon.com
A sweet and slap-happy mix of indie coming-of-age drama and Judd Apatow’s scatological but heartfelt manchild comedies, Greg Mottola’s Adventureland is a winning look at the pleasures and frustrations of dead-end jobs and teenage kicks as viewed through a filter of mid-‘80s pop culture. The underutilized and always watchable Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale) is a sheltered, introspective New York college grad who discovers that his parents’ financial woes will not only quash his dream of a summer in Europe (to enjoy its more “sexually permissive” nations) but require a move to Pittsburgh, where he lands a job at a dilapidated amusement park. There, he’s thrown in with a motley crew of eccentrics, small-town types and a few genuine free spirits, most notably co-worker Em (Kristen Stewart), whose complicated past proves irresistible to his repressed psyche. Mottola, who directed Superbad and episodes of the well-loved Freaks and Geeks, and who once worked in a similar park as a teen, doesn’t shy from the crude laughs that make Apatow’s features so popular, but he tempers it with a wistful tone and layered characters that hew closer to his earliest work, The Daytrippers. Though ill-matched at first, Eisenberg and Stewart make a likable on-screen couple, and they’re well-supported by a terrific cast that includes such die-hard scene-stealers as Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as the park’s offbeat owners, Martin Starr as a Russian lit aficionado, and Ryan Reynolds as a former town tamer, now reduced to working as the park’s handyman. A soundtrack performed by underground faves Yo La Tengo and filled with a smart mix of hip cuts (Hüsker Dü, the New York Dolls, the Replacements) and period faves (Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus”) underscores the film’s blend of tentative emotions and broad laughs. -- Paul Gaita

Featurette: Jesse (Bonus)

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