229 user 255 critic

Adventureland (2009)

2:29 | Trailer

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In the summer of 1987, a college graduate takes a 'nowhere' job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.



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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Arlene (as Kelsey Ford)
Ryan McFarland ...
Jack Gilpin ...
Mr. Brennan
Mrs. Brennan
Velvet Touch Manager
Stephen Mast ...
Adam Kroloff ...
Molly Hatchet T-Shirt Guy


In 1987, James Brennan's dreams of a summer European tour before studying at an Ivy League school in New York City are ruined after his parents have a severe career setback. As a result, James must get a summer job to cover his upcoming expenses at the decrepit local amusement park, Adventureland, where he falls in love with a witty co-worker, Emily Lewin. In that bizarrely shady workplace, the young carnies have unforgettable and painful learning experiences about life, love and trust while James discovers what he truly values. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Long hours. Low pay. High times. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

3 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adventureland - Job d'été à éviter  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,722,039, 5 April 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$16,025,394, 24 May 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader were only on set for four days. All scenes with their characters, Paulette and Bobby, had to be condensed and shot quickly due to their commitments to Saturday Night Live. See more »


In the New York City scene near the end, the pedestrian signals clearly showed the hand and walking man symbol, which were not used in New York City until the early 2000s. In 1987, the pedestrian signals in the city used text "Walk" and "Don't Walk" indications, rather than the symbols. See more »


Joel: What's the point of being a writer or an artist anyway? Herman Melville wrote fuckin' Moby Dick, he was so poor and forgot by the time he died that in his obituary they called him Henry Melville. You know, like why bother? They're just going to forget our fuckin' names anyway. I heard Em went back to New York.
James Brennan: I wish it didn't end like that, I should've - I don't know.
James Brennan: Your Herman Melville story that - that's bullshit.
Joel: It's true, they called him Henry.
James Brennan: No, I mean, he wrote a seven-hundred...
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Crazy Credits

A commercial for the Adventureland amusement park can be seen during the end credits. See more »


Libiamo (La Traviata)
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Lyrics by Francesco Maria Piave
Courtesy of DeWolfe Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Roller-coaster of Love
7 April 2009 | by See all my reviews

"Adventureland"- ***1/2 BY: Kevin Muller The marketing for this film is terrible, just absolutely awful. The studio is pushing this film as the next "Superbad", just because the director of that film directed this gem. The truth is, this is far different than "Superbad", besides a few gross out gags. Where that film prided itself on its crudeness and vulgarity, this film prides itself on heart and pure emotion.

"Adventureland" has the feel of teen movies both from the 80's and 90's (more the 80's though). You have a sensitive character who is still trying to figure out who he is, and by a sequence of events, falls in love and more importantly, finds his true self. What makes the movie even more appealing is that it not only doesn't treat its characters as generic stereotypes, but as humans, which makes them more appealing to the audience.

Our main character here is James (played perfectly by Jessie Eisenberg) who has just graduated college and is looking forward to his trip to Europe with his fellow pal. The trip is not only supposed to be his graduation present, but also a way to escape his recent heartbreak, due to an emotional breakup. Things unfortunately go south with his finances, which forces him to get a job at the local amusement park. There he meets some interesting people: the two owners (Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig), nerdy Joel (the likable Martin Starr) and the beautiful "Em" (Kristen Stewert).

James and Em quickly fall for each other, but there is one small problem, she is in a very dysfunctional relationship with Connell (Ryan Reynolds), who plays the married park maintenance guy. Reynolds, who usually adds the goofy humor to every film he is in, holds back to really give the character a deepness that I was surprised he pulled off. I thought his performance was going to be similar to his Monty character from "Waiting". I applaud the restraint that he held throughout the film, because the character could have gone down that route very easily.

What makes this film work though is that director Greg Mottola doesn't overdo any aspect of the movie. The comedy, drama, and situations are all well balanced, which makes the film feel real. As I stated before, Reynolds is grounded, as is the rest of the cast with their performances. Eisenberg, who is accused of playing Michael Cera, gives a very layered and human performance. I am sorry to you Cera fans, but the awkward and caring guy thing was around way before Cera did it. Stewert, is just perfect in this role, she gives Em vulnerability, but makes her lovable at the same time. These two give perfect performances because neither of them have all the answers and it is about the deep connection they share, not just about the sex.

Go see this film, it deserves to be seen. This is a movie that Hollywood doesn't make anymore; a sweet, smart, moving and humorous experience that hopefully starts a chain of movies like it to follow.

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