REVIEW: 'Young Adult'

REVIEW: 'Young Adult'

REVIEW: 'Young Adult', Flicks.co.nz

4 stars

The director and writer of Juno re-team for this comedy-drama about a woman returning home in an attempt to revive her high school glory years. Stars Charlize Theron (Monster). Now playing nationwide, click for movie times and trailer.

I am not a fan of the previous films by both screenwriter Diablo Cody (Jennifer’s Body) and director Jason Reitman (Up In The Air), and their last collaboration together (Juno) was hardly the second-coming. So I went into Young Adult without a huge amount of excitement.

Turns out though, this is one of the best contemporary dramas to come along in years. Charlize Theron is at her absolute best playing a frequently shallow and charmless writer who returns to her tiny hometown to awkwardly woo a former flame (Patrick Wilson).

Theron is a wonder in the film, and her lack of an Oscar nomination for this film is nothing less than criminal. She manages to embrace her character’s awfulness while delivering a raw, multi-dimensional performance that demands audience empathy.

Alternative comedy superstar Patton Oswalt (Big Fan) is great as the schlub she ends up hanging out with and plenty of fine talent fill out the supporting roles. This film reminded me somewhat of the underrated dramedy In Her Shoes, another film that shows just how satisfying a well-realised character arc can be. Young Adult doesn’t proffer easy resolutions to the issues it throws up but there’s something for everyone to relate to here.

The only distracting element was the surfeit of fast food product placement, but I guess we should get used to that.

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