Upon returning to her small Minnesota hometown to win back her high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson), now a happily-married father, divorced young adult fiction author Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) forges an unexpected bond with another former schoolmate (Patton Oswalt) who's had a particularly difficult life. Juno collaborators Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody re-team for this Paramount Pictures production. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Jason Reitman
Cast: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson, Elizabeth Reaser, Collette Wolfe
Release Date: Dec 09, 2011
Rated: Language and some sexual content
Runtime: 1 hr. 34 min.
Genres: Art House, Comedy, Drama
Young Adult is the kind of film that’s won’t give you tidy answers complete with a happy catch all lessons learned ending. It’s stark, occasionally dark and impressively authentic. Setting aside most of the more zingy dialogue from her previous efforts, Cody’s script feels closer to home and more personal. Reitman’s ability to make the mundane interesting is perfect to capture this woman’s constant state of arrested development. He drops clues throughout about Mavis’s state of mind and the dark comedy works well but when we dip into the further depths it gets pretty dark. Charlize Theron puts on the type of performance that just as raw and effective as her Oscar Award winning turn in 2003’s Monster. Theron has a masterful way of showing the character’s general state of entitlement and disgust while she’s in her old home town. As her character enters the abyss you expect a certain revelation to occur but it doesn’t. Patton Oswalt is perfectly cast as Mavis’s former classmate, an equally damaged but less delusional counter part. Oswalt has an effect everyman type truth to his deliver and here it works perfectly. Looking at this film as a whole, it’d be easy to feel that Reitman and Cody are making a statement about those lost Gen X-ers who seem to have a happier life but are ultimately vapid and unfulfilled.