Young Adult – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

young adultsYoung Adult – 3.5/5 – This is a review for a movie that was released a year ago.   I caught this movie on TV, and it was a movie I have been interested in seeing.  The reason is because it falls in the category of a ‘character’ film.  I enjoy those kinds of films.  Falling in this category, it has a lot of potential on being great or falling apart and being slow.  In the end, Young Adult is a film that does more than be a character film, but also speaks about life and growing up.  With a few slow and predictable moments, this is a film that will entertain.

Premise: Soon after her divorce, Mavis dreams of a past long past her.  IN that memory, she decides to return to her home in small-town Minnesota and try to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend.  The challenge, he is happily married and has a newborn child.  In this, Mavis must learn the truth of life, and learn that some things aren’t what they seem anymore.

In the main role of Mavis Gary is Charlize Theron.  With this character, she provides creates a woman that is enraptured by moments and desires instead of actually finding living her life.  Mavis dwells a lot about her past, and never wants to leave those memories behind.  This causes some turmoil in life, especially when she goes back to her home town to try to woo her old Ex-Boyfriend from high school. In her relative layering of these characteristics, she creates a person who is sassy and intriguing, which provides scenes that are cringing, momentous and downright funny.  The dialogue delivered by Theron is witty and sharp, which helps mold her mindset; she is person that is confused about life, and has no real direction of where to go.  All these desires and faults you find she express through her novels she writes.  The parallel she creates through her writings is pristine, as the mimic feeling shows vulnerability.  That is a lot of depth for one character, but one that is profoundly defined here because of Theron’s great acting ability.  Outside of her, you have a lot of names that are notables in the supporting cast. You have:

Patton Oswalt as Matt Freehauf

Patrick Wilson as Buddy Slade

Elizabeth Reaser as Beth Slade

Collette Wolf as Sandra Freehauf

All of these characters do a good job in providing exciting characters, without bordering upon clichés.  All four are people that all went to school with Mavis, and one’s that have different influences on her throughout this film.  The interactions between the Ex, Buddy Slade, and old high school mate Matt, are the ones that get the most limelight.  These interactions provide the wealth of entertainment, as well as raw situations.  Through it, you get smart dialogue and some dry but witty humor.  All of this helps provide distinction to both these characters, even in support.

The direction of this film is one that flows with two distinct parts.  One of the parts is the characterization of Mavis.  On the surface, you watch as her character is defined by everything that happens in the film.  The other part is the themes that shadow Mavis, ones that reflect social norms, ideas and maturation.  These things intertwine to help create a film that is focused and moves steadily along a methodical approach, dropping you into a ‘life situation’ and following the consequences of those situational choices.  We first get introduced to Mavis.  She is a ‘young adult’ novelist.  In the beginning, we are witness to a couple of hardships she faces.  Based on those things, she decides to try one last time to relive the past; she goes back to her hometown and tries to reconnect with an ex-boyfriend from high school, Buddy Slade.  Once she gets home, we also get introduced to the other players in this film, which includes Matt and the Buddy’s wife.  Once we get pass these general introduction, the film plugs you into a lot of expositional situations that involve elements about life and life’s memories; usually between the interactions of Mavis and Matt.  Within these conversations, it helps provide a witty narrative, which usually becomes a prelude to ‘rekindling moments that involve Mavis and her Ex, Buddy Slade.  Once this repeats itself a few times (Expositional situations preceding rekindling moments), we then follow a traditional buildup of the characters, mostly Mavis.  The characterization of her shows how she deals with these ‘life situation’, which delves deep within a constant struggle that creates a definition of a ‘young adult’; living the past but not letting goal.  In this, the direction then goes back to providing the expositional setup that leads into the pseudo ‘romantic’ interactions between Mavis and Buddy.  In the redundancy, it builds a simplistic but emotional tone that becomes layered by the young adult theme.  Through all this redundancy, what keeps you in the film is the witty dialogue that is both humbling and downright funny.  That sharpness helps quiet any of the faults and conveniences, keeping you entertained and focus on the progress of the characters.  Once the film gets to its third act, all the buildup of Mavis and her constant emotional tugging within leads to a confronting of truths that unfold along a predictable path; an ‘ultimate’ conflict where the main character faces a reality check.  In this, Mavis comes to a realization that leads into a climax that is all too familiar that real person will face.  This realization provides something worth connecting with, as well as closure to Mavis ‘memories’ and her finally ‘moving on’ in her own sort of way.

The visuals of the film does a good job in providing a grounded like feeling.  This is done by the principal photography of a small town aspect, as well as the contrast of classing living situations based on the clothing of Mavis compared to others.  In this, it helps provide a ‘simple’ aspect that isn’t overbearing to the overall story.  The score is very much non-existent, except for the introduction and epilogue of this film.

Overall, Young Adult helps provide a wealth of great characters and themes, and does enough to be a smart, witty film on the aspect of life, memories and themes relevant to society.  You have great acting from Charlize Theron, as well as her supporting cast.  If you’re a fan of character films, dialogue or the actress, this is one for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *