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Youth in Revolt (2009)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  8 January 2010 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 61,697 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 101 user | 191 critic | 35 from

While his trailer trash parents teeter on the edge of divorce, Nick Twisp sets his sights on dream girl Sheeni Saunders, hoping that she'll be the one to take away his virginity.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Twisp
Paul Saunders
Lise Lacasse ...


At 16, Nick Twisp is wry about his teen funk: he lives in Oakland with his sex-addled mother; his father's child support is her meal ticket. While camping in Ukiah, Nick meets Sheeni: for him, it's love at first sight. Nick has to figure out how to get his father a job in Ukiah, then how to get sent to live with his father, then how to get close to Sheeni, whose religious parents may want her sent away from temptation to a boarding school. There's also Sheeni's all-American boyfriend to contend with. Overwhelmed by the challenges, Nick's about to give up when he conjures an alter ego who whispers revolt into his ear. Nick is not altogether hapless, but can this end well? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He Wasn't a Rebel Until He Found His Cause. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

8 January 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La chica de mis sueños  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,888,334 (USA) (8 January 2010)


$15,281,286 (USA) (19 March 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Rooney Mara (Taggarty) originally auditioned for the role of Sheeni Saunders. See more »


When Nick is stealing the BMW, his father kicks the window with his foot leaving two footprints on it. After a couple of scenes the marks have moved upwards from their first location. See more »


Nick Twisp and Francois Dillinger: Sheeni, hi, nice to see you. I was just going for a walk, and I thought I'd drop by. I remembered that you lived here. I'm sorry I got so upset about Trent. It was very immature of me. I'm not normally like that. He sounds like a great guy. I'd love to hear more of his neat poetry. Say, do you want to go to the beach or get breakfast?
Sheeni Saunders: Actually I'm going on a hike. I'd ask you to come along, but you haven't got any hiking boots, provisions, survey maps, or a compass.
Nick Twisp and Francois Dillinger: Fine. I do all of my hiking ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits an animated segment shows what happened following Nick's arrest. See more »


References The Hills Have Eyes II (2007) See more »


I Willn't Be a Prisoner
Written by Kyle Field
Performed by Little Wings
Courtesy of Kow-Yr-Own
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Refreshing, if Not Revolutionary
15 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Youth in Revolt" is original. It's not quite like any "teen movie" I've ever seen. Just as its source material offered a fresh twist to the dork-meets-girl scenario in ink, the film offers the twist on screen.

"Youth in Revolt" centers on unconventional teenage rebels; these aren't the hoodlums you'd expect to see smoking pot on street corners. In fact, these characters are essentially adults trapped in awkward teenage frames. They have sophisticated tastes and profound desires, but they also carry themselves clumsily and desperately try to shed their virginity. This mature immaturity makes both Nick (Cera) and Sheeni (Doubleday), along with a number of minor characters they meet throughout the film, compelling and unique human beings.

As Nick Twisp, Michael Cera carries the film. His awkwardly clever narration provides for fairly consistent laughter, and his quest for Sheeni's heart puts him through a dramatic ringer. As good as Cera is as lovable loser Nick, nothing can prepare the audience for his work as Twisp's alter-ego: Francois Dillinger. Dillinger is the anti-Nick, which also makes him the anti-Michael Cera, but Cera pulls off his boldness and iron will hilariously. Cera's dual performance keeps the film fresh when it begins to get a little dull.

As Sheeni, the primary love interest, Portia Doubleday concocts an unconventional leading lady. She seems to embody every characteristic of the female teenager at the same time, and it's not hard to see why Nick would idolize her.

The film focuses on Cera and Doubleday for the most part, and their relationship is strange, and therefore refreshing. Clichés are avoided, unexpected roadblocks pop up, and teenage love rears its ugly, fascinating face. The romance seems real, as well as funny.

When 'Youth in Revolt" turns its focus away from the youths, it's hit-or-miss. Jean Smart is fine as Cera's aloof mother, but the character itself is one-dimensional and strangely conventional for such a nonconformist movie. Steve Buscemi is fine as the father, but he's not given much to do. The standouts among the supporting players include Fred Willard as an immigrant-phile, Justin Long as Sheeni's stoner brother, Mary Kay Place as Sheeni's Bible-wielding mother, and the two unknowns who portray Nick's friends, Lefty and BJ.

Aside from a couple of intentionally quirky animated sequences and one or two clichéd stock characters, "Youth in Revolt" plays by its own rules, and it wins marvelously.

23 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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