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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Greenbriar Accidently Trips Over a Recent One


Young Adult (2011) Better Left For Younger Adults

I had to look at IMDB to see if this was a comedy, and that was after I watched it. They say comedy/drama. Others call Young Adult "edgy." That to me means unpleasant things happen throughout, which they surely do here. Why did I step away from Hoot Gibson and Laurel-Hardy for this? Guess it was curiosity. I'm always intrigued by characters traveling back to roots for renewal of old love or conflict. This trip for Cherize Theron gets ugly (did you ever think her name would surface at GPS?). There's insight into skulls of writers whenever old school themes are addressed in movies, circumstance of scribes (how they must have suffered in high school) assuring unsympathetic treatment of "jocks" and homecoming queens who shunned them. Young Adult goes this better with a wisest character who was beaten and disfigured by said jocks, is now largely impotent and gets about on a leg brace (part of the "edge," or maybe the "drama" IMDB refers to). It's clear early on that's he's the one who will bag Cherize Theron, an outcome as believable as a Harryhausen pterodactyl flying through the window. I suspect Hollywood's writing pool has many a score to settle with long-past Most Populars. Did any head cheerleader ever become a successful scenarist? If so, she needs to pen something where Senior Superlatives represent other than darkest cruelty. Young Adult fascinates for its cringe worthiness. Scenes of utmost embarrassment and humiliation are lovingly prolonged. You just want to shake up creatives behind this and say, Get Over It!

3 Comments:

Blogger Dave K said...

Got a big kick out of your comments on YOUNG ADULT, the harbinger of a squirmy sub-genre of contemporary film - movies providing an unblinking examination of thoroughly unlikeable and thoroughly self-destructive heroes/heroines. Two big Oscar contenders this year are BLUE JASMIN and INSIDE LLEWIN DAVIS, both stories about major jerks who alienate and infuriate everyone they meet and yet still manage against enormous competition to be their own worst enemies.

All of these films hinge on their central performances, actors working up-hill to make us care about off-putting clods who refuse to get wise to themselves. On those terms I think these three succeed, at least for me. I actually liked all of them a lot, although YOUNG ADULT isn't nearly as well crafted as the other two (really major script problems). Setting critics aside, I've talked to several friends who enjoyed JASMIN and DAVIS a great deal (one buddy laughed after seeing DAVIS and said "It's kind of a Dick Flick isn't it?") Have not yet met anyone who liked YOUNG ADULT as much as I did.

Now, I'll admit these are queasy sit-throughs. And I'm not in a big hurry to re-visit these things right after I see them once. But I found them all entertaining, even fun, in a challenging wince-inducing sort of way.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Kevin K. said...

They should do what I do -- ignore all invites to class reunions, invest a few bucks in therapy and enjoy your life as it is now. No one in their right mind revisits the scene of the crime.

2:40 PM  
Blogger David Simmons said...

Real-life troll Sean Penn gets Cherize, so I suspect anything is possible.

5:48 PM  

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