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Adventureland (2009)

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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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3,059 ( 411)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kelsey Ford ...
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Ryan McFarland ...
Jack Gilpin ...
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Velvet Touch Manager
Stephen Mast ...
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Adam Kroloff ...
Adult Contestant
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Molly Hatchet T-Shirt Guy
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

3 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adventureland - Job d'été à éviter  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,722,039 (USA) (3 April 2009)

Gross:

$16,025,394 (USA) (22 May 2009)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A total of 41 songs were licensed for use in the film, but only 14 made the film's accompanying soundtrack. Most songs used are from the 1980's but to fit the time frame songs from the 1960's and 1970's were also utilized. See more »

Goofs

In one scene there is a Ferris-Wheel in the background behind James. In the next shot the Ferris-Wheel is mysteriously gone. See more »

Quotes

James Brennan: Hey, is it because of Sue?
Joel: What?
James Brennan: Why you quit. Because, Joel, you're a great guy, you know, and she doesn't deserve you.
Joel: James, look at me. I'm not a good looking guy. And I'm poor. Girls aren't gonna go near me when there's all these fucking yuppies around.
James Brennan: That's ridiculous. Not all women are like that. You know, Em isn't like that.
Joel: Em?
James Brennan: Yeah.
Joel: You don't even appreciate what you have. You're chasing after Lisa P. when you have this incredible, beautiful girl right fucking there. Fuck this.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Asteroids (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Here I Go Again
Written by David Coverdale and Bernie Marsden
Performed by Whitesnake
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I Love the '80s
5 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

And I loved this movie.

I grew up in the '80s, and have always had a fondness for the decade. So much so that I've always thought that if I ever manage to write a screenplay, it will probably be set in that era. Until today, I hadn't seen a movie set in the '80s that I really loved, unless it was made back then. I learned to love movies in the '80s, and this one felt like it could easily have been made back then. It isn't like other '80s retro films that hit you over the head with winks and nods to the quirks of that era. You won't see anyone trying to solve a Rubik's Cube while doing the moonwalk in a pair of parachute pants and saying "totally rad."

You also won't see a Superbad retread (people have complained that the ads are misleading). There's lots of great laughs, but it comes mostly from subtle situational moments, not in-your-face punchline dialog. This is a character driven movie, and Jesse Eisenberg really shines in a very likable performance as the geekish underdog out to win the heart of the cool and beautiful but angst-ridden Kristen Stewart.

Most of the performances are wonderful, but the writing is what truly makes this movie great. Some of the most memorable moments involve the dark side of amusement parks. The real Adventureland park, where writer/director Motolla once worked, can't be too happy with this film. I imagine they might want to sue, if only that wouldn't bring even more news and attention to the shenanigans that occur there. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but "shenanigans" is putting it kindly.

The '80s was the decade where coming-of-age dramedies blossomed with great soundtracks, and Adventureland pays off in that regard as well.

Motolla himself has warned: "I hope people who grew up in the '80s don't assume it's not for them." Those who are expecting another raunchy teen romp like Superbad may be disappointed. These "kids" are probably old enough to drink legally, though that doesn't appear to be their drug of choice. This movie has more in common with Almost Famous and Outside Providence than it does with Superbad, and not just because it's semi-autobiographical. Though the humor isn't quite as prevalent as it is in Superbad, I found the laughter that it did evoke to be far more satisfying.


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