Depressing, Self-Centered, and Nihilistic
Release Date: December 09, 2011
Starring: Charlize Theron, Patrick
Wilson, Patton Oswalt,
Elizabeth Reaser, Jill
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 94 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures/Viacom
Director: Jason Reitman
Executive Producer: Helen Estabrook, Nathan
Kahane, John Malkovich, Steven
Producer: Diablo Cody, Lianne Halfon,
Mason Novick, Jason Reitman,
Russell Smith, Charlize Theron
Writer: Diablo Cody
Address Comments To:Sumner Redstone, Chairman/CEO, Viacom
Brad Grey, Chairman/CEO
Adam Goodman, President, Paramount Film Group
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197
Phone: (323) 956-5000; Website: www.paramount.com
Things are not going well for recently divorced Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron). She’s the ghostwriter of a once-popular series of novels marketed towards young adults, now reaching the end of the line. When she finds out her now happily married ex-boyfriend, Buddy Slade (played by PATRICK WILSON), just had a baby girl, she does what every clear-thinking beautiful young divorcée would do. Well, not really. No doubt influenced by the fog of alcoholism in which she lives, Mavis decides to leave Minneapolis and go home to the small-time Minnesota town in which she grew up to split up Buddy’s marriage and win him back, because, she claims, they were always meant to be together.
During most of the movie, Mavis is shooting whiskey, walking around hungover, drinking and driving, and making bad moral decisions. Rinse and Repeat. Mavis sleeps around, uses people, and fails even to respond to the kindness shown to her by her ex-beau's wife, who plays in the unfortunately named rock band "Nipple Confusion." All the while, Mavis avoids her family. In turn, her mother and father do little to explain to her the depravity of her actions.
[SPOILER ALERT] Although Mavis does reach the conclusion she has to change, when she gets in her mini with her little dog at the end of the movie, it’s clear that her return to Minneapolis will bring little more than more booze, more hangovers, and more poor decisions. Especially since she sneaks out of bed at the beginning, and the end of the movie both, without waking the partner with which (we presume) she just had sexual relations.
Moral evasion is the message of this movie, which disappoints on all levels with a poorly-written and poorly-executed script that lacks a clear structure. This role will do little for Charlize Theron’s struggling career or for young Jason Reitman, the director (JUNO, UP IN THE AIR). The best advantage is that their movie’s boring, so if the parties concerned are blessed, YOUNG ADULT will be forgotten as soon as it leaves the big screen.
All in all, YOUNG ADULT is unmemorable, morally bankrupt, and not worth the price of admission.
Moral evasion is the message of this movie, which disappoints on all levels with a poorly written and poorly executed script that lacks structure. YOUNG ADULT has plenty of foul language, some lewd moments, and lots of alcohol abuse. The female protagonist’s actions are contrasted with the kindness of her ex-boyfriend’s wife, but she learns little from her experiences. All in all, YOUNG ADULT is unmemorable, morally bankrupt, and not worth the price of admission.