read the news // live the culture

Film review: Young Adult – fun mixes with drama in Juno style

  Wednesday 1st February 2012

Like Juno and vampire-flick Jennifer’s Body, writer Diablo Cody likes to write about women who have both external and, to an extent, more pressing internal issues. In Young Adult, our heroine is 37-year-old Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), a struggling writer whose divorce has led her back to her home town in Minnesota where, along old school friend Matt (Patton Oswalt), she hatches a plan to win back her old high school flame Buddy Slade, played by Patrick Wilson.

Young Adult is released nationwide on February 3rd.

Young Adult takes the audience on a very fast ride, moving from scene to scene with Gary as she self-destructs under the pressure of writing the latest in a series of successful fiction novels. After discovering her first love’s wife is expecting a new baby, she then embarks on an almost Kill Bill-type vendetta, stopping at nothing to try and win Slade back.

It is evident to see that director Jason Reitman had fun shooting the film as Theron adds her own style to get the lazy and obnoxious side of Gary just right. Due to the script being fast paced, the leads to the humour flowing thick and fast – which can get lost on a British audience, as the American references are sometimes too colloquial to understand. A strong narrative involves a protagonist dramatically changing throughout the course of the story, and Mavis Gary does exactly this in what is one of Theron’s strongest roles of her career since Monster.

Patrick Wilson plays the clueless Buddy Slade, happy to see his old girlfriend back in town but staying oblivious to her true intentions. I don’t feel we see enough of Wilson’s character on screen and, to some extent, this dampens the manic infatuation that Gary has on Slade throughout. But having said that, the scenes involving the two characters are some the funniest in the film.

The audience is sucked in from the beginning and served a dark comedy that is light when it needs to be, but still presses and addresses the issue of depression in a very emotional way. With just the right touch of laughs added from a very funny Patton Oswalt, Young Adult is strong contender to be the best film of January 2012.

 

Verdict: •••

Richard Taverner

 Watch the trailer of Young Adult here

More about the author


Share this story


  • Pin It
  • Share on Google+
  • Reddit
  • Stumble
  • LinkedIn

Latest related

London art for free
London art for free

In the rush of the city, finding out what’s new and free can become a constant pursuit, especially when it comes [read more]

Josh Record – Pillars | Album review
Josh Record – Pillars

Pillars is the debut album from Josh Record, an alternative/indie musician who already has an impressive list of fans. [read more]

Off the Wall at Bankside Gallery | Exhibition review
Off the Wall at Bankside Gallery

Bankside Gallery has recently opened its exhibition Off the Wall, a collection of work by artists from the Royal [read more]

Jon Allen – Deep River | Album review
Jon Allen – Deep River

London-based singer-songwriter Jon Allen is relentlessly compared to other artists, predominantly the folk masters of [read more]

Holes at the Arcola Tent | Theatre review
Holes at the Arcola Tent

Stranded on a desert island, four plane crash survivors – three bored office workers and a nubile teenage girl – [read more]

Archives