Young Adult [2011] ★★

Compared to Jason Reitman’s other films, like “Juno”, “Thank You For Smoking”, and “Up in the Air”, “Young Adult” doesn’t stand a chance.  Charlize Theron delivers a bold performance, playing an extremely unlikable character (she did it before in “Monster”). An author of young adult fiction, she lives an empty life in the city, drowning herself in alcohol. She sleeps around, doesn’t do much work (she constantly tries to avoid her publisher) and doesn’t seem to care much about consequences. When she hears that her old high-school flame (Patrick Wilson) is happily married and has a new baby, she decides to head home and win him back. Why? Because she can beat this thing, as she keeps saying, completely serious.I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen so many movies about men who refuse to grow up. Which is why “Young Adult” comes off as a fresh idea at first. Here’s a 37 year old woman who can’t seem to let bygones be bygones, and Theron pulls if off like a pro. So why was I not entirely satisfied? The problem is that Theron’s character is a mess. We spend most of the time hating her, instead of feeling sorry for her (not sure if that was intended). There’s no rooting interest in watching her trying to destroy a man’s family. Diablo Cody (who also produced “Juno”) tries to inject the script with a couple of jokes. But at heart, “Young Adult” is no comedy. What saves it from being a total disaster is Theron’s performance. Her acting does not disappoint at all. It’s the script that fails here; instead of pulling you in, it leaves you with a bitter aftertaste. I still have nothing but admiration for director Jason Retiman, and I’m eager for his next film, but as far as “Young Adult” is concerned, it can only be described as disappointing.

Rating: 2/4

2 replies »

  1. You are totally right! I watched the movie and asked myself “what happened to her, does she need money or what?”!

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