Director: Jason Reitman
Cast: Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt and |JK Simmons
Classification: 13 LD
Running time: 93 minutes
Oscar winner Charlize Theron is Mavis Gary, a 30-something without a purpose. She earns a living by writing teenage fiction, but the series she works for is soon coming to an end.
One day Mavis receives an e-mail saying her old high school boyfriend Buddy (Wilson) has just had a baby girl with his wife, Beth (Elizabeth Reaser).
Armed with that news, and with her life going absolutely nowhere, Mavis reaches the conclusion that her life would be so much better if she and Buddy could pick up where they left off a couple of decades ago. Sure, he has a wife and a baby, but she’s Mavis and she lives in the Big City, which makes all the difference in the world.
Buddy is happily married and his wife has just had a baby, so he’s not really available. But Mavis being Mavis, this is not an obstacle. She means to get her man, by whatever means she can. Her ally in this impossible mission is Matt (Oswalt), who was also at school with her, but he is fat and disabled (having been set upon by homophobic jocks who wrongly thought he was gay). He advises her to lay off Buddy, but Mavis doesn’t listen to anyone.
Young Adult is supposed to be a comedy based on a character who is mentally ill. However, there is hardly anything funny in it.
What does seem to be taking place is that the film-makers are asking us to sit back and observe a casual and increasingly uncomfortable slice of life of one of the most unpleasant characters in cinematic history.
And if there is something brilliant in Young Adult, it is Theron and her portrayal of Mavis. There is nothing remotely socially redeeming about Mavis who is profane, rude, boorish, obnoxious and evil. And those are her good points.
Theron plays Mavis as a real personality, and she plays her with brutal consistency which makes her all the more unlikable. Yet we don’t really get to know why Mavis is the way she is.
I didn’t see the point of Young Adult. All you do is watch this sick woman make a fool of herself, and I didn’t find it that funny. Maybe the point is the cool kids from high school are destined for depression, drunkenness and endless sadness.
It is not entertaining. It is sad.
If you enjoyed… Thank You For Smoking or 50/50…you will enjoy this film.