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Young Adult

January 9, 2012

This film is unique, tough and unpredictable.

I didn’t want to see Young Adult. Sitting through another depressed attractive person film was not high on my list. I wondered after Up in the Air why Jason Reitman would have taken such a big step back. However, this film was on a bunch of  top ten lists of 2011. So, I began to read up on it.

I watched Young Adult yesterday and  I’m realizing that Diablo Cody and Reitman have created a totally unique character. She is an anti-hero that is unpredictable, insane and drunk. You cannot sum up Mavis Gary easily because she breaks the mold.  Mavis is drunk and in arrested development but you never see her as a clichéd “Drunk Mavis” or “Evil Mavis.” What you witness is a character that is smart enough to survive in a world she hasn’t adapted to.

Sidenote: Theron is in arrested development in this film. Do not confuse her with her Mr. F character in the hilarious television show Arrested Development.

The movie focuses on a divorced author (Theron) who returns home from the big city of Minneapolis in order to win her high school boyfriend back. The problem is that her ex (Patrick Wilson) is a happily married family man. Theron is convinced he is unhappy and she wants him back.

Along the way she picks up a drinking buddy/sounding board played by Patton Oswalt. They went to high school together until he was beaten brutally in a hate crime. The athletes beat him because they thought he was gay (he is not). The two are stuck in differing forms of limbo and play well off of each other due to alcohol and bitterness. Patton listens to the beautiful woman despite the fact that he thinks she is crazy and that her mission will not succeed.

You HOPE that Charlize will not succeed in her mission. The scenes with her and Patrick are more tense than many of action films. There is a feeling of dread every time she gets around Patrick. I kept wishing that Mavis would not break up the nice couple.

What happens is surprising and smart. You could easily write the film off as slight and superficial. However, Mavis is masterfully crafted monster. Some critics complain the ending feels to dream like. However, I understood completely what her actions meant. this film was a tight rope act that pulled off the unthinkable. It made a horrible good-looking person likable.

Watch this film. Enjoy the unexpected. Use the word “dour” to describe it.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sweet Sugar permalink
    January 9, 2012 11:31 am

    “Dour” is a great word when trying to sound pretentious

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