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Oscar winning screenwriter Diablo Cody and her script that’s covered with today’s pop culture and media are back! The lead character Mavis Gary can be imagined as an adult Juno if the world didn’t turn the way she’d planned. Cody created a much more cynical, more sarcastic, more devious character. Mavis Gary is unfreakinbelievable and the ever so remarkable Charlize Theron is the perfect actress for this role. In the film, Theron consistently sets her expression on a bitter, resentful mode. She blames the world for her unhappiness but she also thinks the world is not good enough for her.
YOUNG ADULT is one of the funniest, most profound films you’ll see this year…
Academy Award(R) winner Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature who returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson). When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate (Patton Oswalt) who hasn’t quite gotten over high school, either
The previous roles that gave Charlize Theron Oscar nods, required her to not look attractive (Monster, North Country), so it’s great to see Theron in an Oscar worthy role and still looks strikingly beautiful.
You can’t keep your eyes off of Theron in this movie, and not just because of her ‘hotness’ but also because her performance has a certain magnetic pull and it seems to me that Mavis is the one thing constant about this story and that is the idea. The film’s tagline can’t say it better, ‘Everyone grows old, not everyone grows up’ and so Mavis has to stay Mavis, a person who doesn’t want to learn her lessons. Whatever you say to her won’t go through her thick skull and when reality check does arrive, another realization will bring her back to Mavis again. To see Mavis self-destructs through the plan that she’s so determined to accomplish is the attraction of YOUNG ADULT and Theron fires on all cylinders.
By now, everyone is familiar with screenwriter Cody’s trademark, she has to always make room for whatever teens and young people consider hip or cool nowadays.
She places a character, Mavis Gary, who probably follows Kardashians and Jersey Shore religiously, in a town where everybody else doesn’t give two cents about either Kardashians or Jersey Shore and that creates all sorts of hilarity for us the audiences.
Cody’s comedic timing in her story is impressive, she knows how to turns an explosive confrontation into an awkward situation without taking away the big problem at hand that causes that conflict in the first place. Director Jason Reitman who brought us Juno and Up In The Air has got himself another winner with YOUNG ADULT which I think is this year’s perfect blend of comedy and drama.
And just like the close up shots in Up In The Air that show you the bags and luggage preparation, YOUNG ADULT would take you to the inner workings of a cassette tape
I think in its core, through YOUNG ADULT, Cody wants to show you how funny it is that people often give you advice when you didn’t really ask for it, and it’s even funnier when they give you advice that they themselves don’t take.
There’s a scene in which Mavis and Matt, well played by funnyman Patton Oswalt whose dramatic chops are just as sharp, argue about the other person not being able to get over it and move on.
Mavis thinks the people in that hometown of hers are dumb for not wanting to get out of that town, when the person who can’t seem to move on is actually her. But not until later on when Cody drops a specific bomb that finally lets you in on what it is that makes Mavis so angry all these years, why she always thinks she’s been treated unfair, that one confessional moment makes her a victim of life and not the high school b*tch because there’s more to her story that you think.
GRADE: 5 out of 5
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