Written by / 12/19/2011 / No comments / , ,

YOUNG ADULT

title: YOUNG ADULT
year: 2011
cast: Charlize Theron
rating: *1/2

A selfish, beautiful, irate, desperate, greedy, cunning woman returns to her small town to snare her high school sweetheart Buddy Slade, who’s proudly married with a newborn baby. Charlize Theron is Mavis Gary, the hardened, boozing author of a young adult series with just enough bitterness to make for a fun anti-heroine. But when she meets a former schoolmate at a bar… an overweight geek who was beaten and crippled for being homosexual even though he wasn’t… the movie hits a wall way too soon. Although Patton Oswalt plays tubby underdog Matt Freehauf with sincerity, his character, in constantly warning Mavis about her plan to break up Buddy’s family, and then their comfortable drinking kinship thereafter, deletes any spontaneous edge she’d have otherwise. The intriguing plotline becomes a simplistic character-study of two polar opposites complaining about their lives – and the film goes nowhere. Even when Mavis makes her moves on Buddy Slade, who, played by Patrick Wilson, looks good but hardly has a pulse, it never seems she has anything to really gain or lose, nor is there a substantial motivation for her actions. Then the very ending, as dark comedy turns to uncomfortable melodrama when Mavis confronts – and is confronted by – Buddy's wife and her friends during an outdoor party, the film fizzles into nowhere: leading to one of the grossest sex scenes in cinematic history... followed by an early morning conversation that could have succeeded in a darkly humorous epilogue if only director Jason Reitman, or writer Diablo Cody, knew what kind of movie they were making in the first place.
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