Movie Review: Young Adult

Details from IMDB:

Young Adult (2011)

R  94 min  -  Comedy | Drama   -  16 December 2011 (Canada)

Ratings: 7.3/10 from 3,093 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 53 user | 109 critic | 41 from

Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now married with kids.

Initial Thoughts:

This was our second choice for the night as "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was sold out. I was curious though as I’ve always liked Charlize Theron and it was a movie about a writer Smile.

Main Points:

So the movie is about a alcoholic/pathetic young adult writer Mavis Gary (played by Theron) who becomes obsessed with a picture of a baby sent to her in an e-mail (her ex-boyfriend from high school sent it). She decides to go back to her hometown of Mercury to see Buddy Slade in the hopes of rekindling their relationship (ignoring the fact that he’s married with a child).

Theron is only of the only likeable things about this movie, she manages to portray this deeply depressed but still sexy and sometimes charming woman with occasional humour and ease. As regards the plot I found it generally to be slow and full of long, awkward moments and pauses that are supposed to add tension or dramatic effect but never quite work most of the time.

Another bright spot is Patton Oswald (who plays Matt), a lonely, geeky rather pathetic but still funny guy who enjoys getting drunk with Mavis and is one of the only people who still likes her from high school. He makes his own whisky (cost effective when you like to drink it Winking smile) and one particular batch is called “Mos Eisley Brew” Open-mouthed smile. Mavis later calls it “Star Wars juice”.Laughing out loud

For most of the movie Mavis sees her writing as a chore and she ignores repeated phone calls from her editor.I like how she Mavis writes her book by using events from her own life and just steals speech patterns and cool terms like “textual chemistry” from listening to teenagers at restaurants and department stores. As a writer I also liked how it shows her laptop is essential and she writes whenever and wherever she can. Sadly though her young adult series is no longer popular and the book she is writing is the last in the series. She is also humiliated in a Mercury bookstore when she is not even allowed to sign copies of her own book! Sad smile

The really odd part about this movie is that most people in her hometown do seem really boring, uninteresting people and strangely Mavis is at least a little more interesting and successful than anyone else there. It certainly doesn’t do much to make you feel good about living in a small town.


Mavis is completely wrong about Buddy, despite one kiss (when he was drunk) he has no interest in leaving his wife to be with her. Mavis shows up at his baby-naming ceremony and thinks Buddy will declare his secret love for her, he doesn’t. Mavis then quickly gets drunk and makes a huge scene as she tells off everyone at the party and ruins the surprise Buddy had for his wife.

Mavis also has sex with Matt in another strange, rather awkward scene. Ultimately Matt and his sister make her realize that she is destined for better things and that she must return to the “mini apple” (Minneapolis).

The movie does end with Mavis finishing her last book of the series (and killing the character based on Buddy). It looks like she will turn her life around or at least make an attempt to.

Final Thoughts:

There were parts of the movie I liked and Theron does a good job with the character. I just thought the dialogue and story were painfully bad in spots. If you love Theron (or Oswald) and want to feel better about getting out of a small town (or possibly curious about writing) you might want to check this out.  I’d give this a reserved recommendation. A weak 7/10 from me, make sure to have some good popcorn and go on a cheap night.Vampire bat




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