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Young Adult (2011)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 54,505 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 184 user | 314 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter.

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Title: Young Adult (2011)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sandra Freehauf
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Hedda Gary
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David Gary
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Jan
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Mary Ellen Trantowski
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Nipple Confusion Bassist
Rebecca Hart ...
Nipple Confusion Guitarist
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Front Desk Girl
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Sales Lady
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Book Associate
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Storyline

Mavis Gary, once the high school 'It Girl', now an alcoholic divorcée who writes a soon to be canceled young adult fiction series, makes the decision to return to her childhood home in Minnesota. There she embarks on a plan to win back her former sweetheart, Buddy. The fact that Buddy is now married with a baby doesn't dissuade her. Along the way, she forms a bond with Matt Freehauf, another former classmate, who has been left disabled by a beating he took from a bunch of jocks. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everyone gets old. Not everyone grows up

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Young Adult  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$310,263 (USA) (9 December 2011)

Gross:

$16,300,302 (USA) (17 February 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (as Datasat Digital Sound)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During a scene where Mavis (Charlize Theron) browses in a clothing store, an assistant offers to help, and Mavis asks if they have anything by Marc Jacobs. Theron is, in reality, a big fan of the New York designer's line of fashion. See more »

Goofs

Mavis orders a Maker's Mark and then gulps down 2/3, then when she goes to drink again, the glass is full again. However, Mavis pours more of the Maker's Mark into the glass and finishes it, she then proceeds to grab an already poured full glass of wine from the table. See more »

Quotes

Matt Freehauf: I think we went to high school together.
Mavis Gary: At the same time?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: 21 Jump Street (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Big Me
Written by David Grohl (as Dave Grohl)
Performed by Mateo Messina
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Arresting Development
25 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is highly recommended.

Finally a holiday movie comes along that dares to ask, " Can a high school prom queen steal her happily married ex-boyfriend from his wife and newborn child and find true love? " From the team that brought us the classic comedy, Juno, comes the wickedly entertaining, and to some, offensive Young Adult.

Directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, this dark comedy explores the aspirations of a beautiful, vain, and selfish woman as she schemes to breakup a marriage and reclaim her former sweetheart, Buddy. Now divorced, Mavis Gary ( Charlize Theron ), a ghostwriter of teen literature conveniently found in the YA section of bookstores everywhere, has never grown up and never had the life she felt destined to have. ( After all, she was voted Best Hair in her high school yearbook! ) Her life is in ruins, an eternal victim of herself. She decides to return to her small hometown hoping to snare her former sweetheart ( nicely downplayed by Patrick Wilson ) and with that in mind, live some of the glories of her past life. As Mavis mentions in one scene, "Love conquers all. "Haven't you seen The Graduate? " She lives in a fantasy world, clouded by booze.

Giving her a reality check about her plans is a dweeb from the past, Matt Freehauf ( Patton Oswalt ), whom Mavis meets at a local bar. She doesn't so much rekindle their friendship as she never had time for him before, just not in her league back then. "Oh, you're that hate crime guy," she says when they meet. Insensitive, yes. That's Mavis, and yes, Matt was permanently injured in a gay hate crime during his senior year, although he wasn't gay at all. Shades of irony! ( Not that there's anything wrong with that, yada, yada!) Alcohol (and there's plenty in use when Mavis is around ) brings these two lost souls together, that and Mavis' far- fetched dreaming.

Theron has the difficult role of making such a repulsive and mean-spirited woman, if not likable, at least, tolerable. She never tries to ingratiate herself. Instead, she depicts a mean girl caught in the throngs of arrested development and expects the movie audience to deal with it. Her acting choices work beautifully inside and out. Theron uses her expressive beauty and sexual allure to hide Mavis' twisted and unpleasant traits. Hopefully, this honest and compelling performance won't turn off Academy voters due to its nasty portrayal of its anti-heroine. It's a wonderful job of acting.

Oswalt gives a fully dimensional comic portrait of a small town loser type with bigger dreams. He's living with his sister. He's alone. He's Mavis' conscience and he's working overtime. He's the voice of reason ( and the sensible voice of the movie audience as well. ). Oswalt plays his character as an endearing slug, a man-child full of sage advice and bitter disappointment. It is a finely honed comic performance.

Cleverly scripted, Young Adult is filled with smart one-liners that advance the action and are keeping with their flawed characters. Yet the film carries with it a more serious tone, not the laugh-a-minute movie one would suspect from the trailer. The characters and their situations verge on the real with the comically surreal. In an uncomfortable but pivotal scene, Mavis addresses Buddy's married life with consoling words and advice that " we can beat this thing together" and leave his KenTacoHut world behind. Cody's sharply observed and cynical view of small town life is imbued in her characters and may be distasteful to some moviegoers, although I found this film quite amusing and droll. The only objection to the film was in two of the film's final scenes ( which were effectively done but inaccurate to the characters' true motivations and actions).

Reitman is again drawn to damaged characters in his leading roles as he had successfully done with films like Juno and Up in the Air. He is relentless in his ability to make such complicated people completely fascinating as they free fall into despair. He makes their journey filled with ironic and satirical possibilities, making the negative positively comic in tone.

Young Adult resists the sweet rosy side of life. It humorously embraces the sad fatalistic notion of our everyday existence, supplanting upbeat and unattainable desires with a refreshingly downbeat sensibility. And that's seems very grown-up to me. GRADE: B+

NOTE: Visit my movie blog for more reviews: www.dearmoviegoer.com


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