Mean spirited and hilarious. See it before it's gone.
**** ½ out of 5
Rated R for language and some sexual content
Article first published as Movie Review: Young Adult on Blogcritics.
As I stated in my review of “Horrible Bosses,” I love my dark comedies. This may not be the first type of film that springs to mind when you think of the second pairing of “Juno” cohorts, director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody, it’s a welcome change. While Reitman and Cody are both spending their careers growing and evolving, it’s the exact opposite we get from Charlize Theron’s character of Mavis Gary in “Young Adult.”
Mavis Gary lives in “The Minneapple,” (aka Minneapolis, Minnesota) where she ghost writes a YA, er… young adult...series called Waverly Prep. Her agent is trying to help her out by offering her one last hurrah to finish the now canceled series with book #178. Life proves to have taken its toll on the divorced author who begins obsessing on what could have been when she receives a baby announcement for her old high school beau Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson). Buddy is happily married to Beth (Elizabeth Reaser), who plays in a band full of mothers and he’s very fulfilled with his life choices. But Mavis has hopes of other plans as she returns to her hometown of Mercury to try to win him back and beat his odds together.
Films filled to the brim with despicable characters up to no good generally don’t do quite as well as those with central characters surrounded by a gawking supporting cast. Thankfully, Reitman and Cody try to give Mavis a little hope, and Theron is able to handle her character with the right kind of hilarity and pity that she deserves. Her Mavis comes off as a cross between her Oscar winning turn as Aileen Wuornos in “Monster” and her recurring Rita from “Arrested Development.” Just because she looks so good for her age doesn’t mean she’s all there.
Photos courtesy Paramount Pictures