YOUNG ADULT is a morally bankrupt, depressing would-be comedy staring Charlize Theron. Things are not going well for recently divorced Mavis Gary. She’s the ghostwriter of a once-popular series of novels marketed toward young adults, now reaching the end of the line. When she finds out her now happily married ex-boyfriend, Buddy Slade, just had a baby girl, she does what every beautiful young divorcée would do. Well, not really. No doubt influenced by the fog of alcoholism in which she lives, Mavis decides to go home to the small-time Minnesota town where she was raised. Her intent? Split up Buddy’s marriage and win him back, because, she claims, they were always meant to be together.
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.
(RoRoRo, B, C, Cap, LLL, V, SS, N, AAA, D, MMM) Extreme emotions-driven Romantic, somewhat nihilistic worldview focused on a self-interested and self-serving female protagonist who seeks to break up a happy marriage at all costs, contrasted with a glimpse of acceptance and redemptive forgiveness by the wife of her ex beau, but no lessons are really learned; 10 profanities and 28 obscenities; light action violence such as a car wreck as a result of drinking and driving; strong sexual immorality includes protagonist deliberately tries to break up a happy marriage at all costs and implied fornication as man in only his boxers lying on top of the female protagonist pulls off his boxers and female protagonist reveals she had a miscarriage in college as a result of premarital sex with, and pregnancy by, her ex-boyfriend; natural nudity (bath scene) as well as protagonist gets into bed wearing just a T-shirt or just underwear and getting undressed to just underwear in front of a man; excessive drinking, including no consequences for shooting whiskey all night and driving; smoking; some capitalist content as a self-made writer escapes a small town to live in the big city and when she returns corporate America has slowly begun making its headway into the town with new fast food joints and stores; and, morally bankrupt storyline that focuses on adultery and seduction without ever pointing toward any hope for redemption, but woman expresses pain at having had a miscarriage years earlier after she became pregnant before wedlock.
YOUNG ADULT is a morally bankrupt, depressing would-be comedy about an alcoholic woman who learns little from her experiences.
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.
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