BY ISA MONTAGNESE
Date released: December 16, 2011
Date watched: January 21, 2014
Why now?: Sometimes a movie seems way more appealing out of context. When this movie came out, it was riding on the high of Diablo Cody’s Juno success and Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air success. Now that there’s some time separation from all those angsty adult movies (Reitman’s got the much more uplifting Labor Day coming out on Friday), I’m more inclined to give this one a watch.
Why not then?: I don’t particularly like Diablo Cody. I have tried so hard to like her work, but just can’t.
- Forced, quirky writing like Juno.
- Charlize Theron being perfect in every way (I love her).
- Whats-his-name being handsome and kind of bland.
- Lessons learned about life, getting older and moving on.
What I actually got:
- Charlize Theron carrying the whole movie because she’s perfect.
- A pretty good supporting cast lead by Patton Oswalt.
- Less Juno-esque dialogue than I expected, thankfully! The characters actually sounded like people and sounded like they were genuinely interacting with each other! Hooray!
- Some really great scenes of Theron’s character either getting ready for the night (or as my friend calls it, gussy-ing), or planning how she’ll look. These long drawn-out scenes that seem a little indulgent at first are, to me, super important rituals for that character. She needs loads of prep to feel invincible, and when all her planning and work fails to get her what she wants, it’s even more heartbreaking and poignant.
- Lots of lessons learned about growing old and what success really means.
One night-in stand or second date potential?: I would say Young Adult is a one night-in stand. Though some people might really enjoy this Cody/Reitman backwash, it didn’t get me there.