Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Young Adult: Movie Review

Young Adult

Cast: Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt

Here comes the anti heroine.

Charlize Theron stars as Mavis Gary, an American young adult writer whose life isn’t exactly going the way perhaps her popularity in high school might have suggested.

One day, when she receives an email telling her of the birth of her high school sweetheart Buddy’s latest baby, she decides enough is enough and sets out to reclaim him.

The only problem is that Buddy’s actually quite happily married and unaware of Mavis’ intentions….

Young Adult is an odd film – written by Diablo Cody who brought us Juno (along with Reitman), the script does sparkle with some hipster speak here and there but it’s not exactly that kind of comic film; it’s a very dry, very cynical and slightly oddball look at someone who can’t bring themselves to grow up.

However, Theron is impressive in the role – and you do end up questioning her state of mind as she vehemently pushes on to try and win Buddy back despite everyone’s warnings that he’s quite happy where he is. Theron manages to push this latest role into the “sadly deluded but played quite seriously” territory so it’s an uneasy watch at times to be frank. One scene, at Buddy’s family christening, borders so closely on an intervention into Mavis’ life that you’re not sure whether it’s tragedy or very very dark humour on display.

The hitherto only known as Remy the Rat from Ratatouille, Patton Oswalt deserves a mention too for his role as crippled Matt Freehauf, who forms an uneasy friendship with Mavis. There’s tenderness and heart to his turn as well as sadness at a life ruined by one moment in high school.

Ultimately, Young Adult won’t be to everyone’s tastes – but it’s quirky enough and well acted that it has a curio factor – and could also see some award glory for Theron’s role. There’s an uncomfortable rawness which may strike a chord with some – and others will find it a little too aloof to engage with.


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