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Young Adult (2011)
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Young Adult (2011)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  16 December 2011 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 61,486 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 194 user | 323 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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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jan
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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

Thirty-seven year old Mavis Gary seems incapable of happiness. She has had one failed marriage with no romance in her immediate horizon. She ghosts writes a young adult series of books, which has just been canceled due to low sales. She is in the process of writing the last book, with which she is having a mental block. She lives vicariously through Kendall Strickland, the teenaged female heroine in her books, as like Kendall she believes her high school years were the best years of her life when she was the prom queen. When she receives news that her high school beau, Buddy Slade, and his wife, Beth Slade, have just had their first child, Mavis takes it as a sign that she and Buddy are meant to be together. As such, she devises a false pretense to travel from her Minneapolis home back her her old hometown of Mercury, Minnesota to reclaim Buddy from Beth. As Mavis slyly or not so slyly does whatever she can to hang out with Buddy, even in Beth's company if need be, she also runs into ... Written by Huggo

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:

Adultos jóvenes  »

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

Though set in Minnesota, the scene in and around the bar "Woody's" was filmed in Massapequa Park on Long Island, New York. See more »

Goofs

After Mavis gets her nails done in dark blue, she is at KFC writing when Buddy calls her. Her nails are blue during the entire phone call, but the right before she hangs up the phone they are suddenly unpainted. In the next scene they are back to blue. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

References Wizards of Waverly Place (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Shame About Ray
Written by Evan Dando and Tom Morgan
Performed by The Lemonheads (as Lemonheads)
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Reitman and Cody strike again
16 December 2011 | by (IL, USA) – See all my reviews

When Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody struck gold with "Juno" in 2007, they did so with a rare combination of contemporary wit, quirkiness and heart. Their four-year reunion in "Young Adult" won't be nearly as heralded, but it might arguably be a better film.

Although ironic when juxtaposed with its main character, a 37-year-old who hasn't gotten over her high school sweetheart, Reitman and Cody display obvious evidence of maturation. The subject and humor are decidedly darker, and the emotional energy more raw and challenging.

Charlize Theron stars as Mavis Gary, perhaps one of film's most hopelessly pathetic protagonists. Before giving the opening credit sequence its cue, Reitman puts Theron to work and paints a clear picture of spiraling drunken loneliness, reality TV and apathy toward responsibility. Appropriately, she's a young-adult fiction writer for a dwindling book series who's also a former prom queen. Theron is perfect for the role with her combination of in- concealable beauty and dramatic prowess. Mavis never becomes a caricature under her watch.

Unable to get past the fact that her high school boyfriend Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) just had a baby, Mavis flees her depressing cyclical lifestyle in Minneapolis for her home town of Mercury, Minn. with the intention of winning him back.

Mavis' delusional and deceitful quest to be a home-wrecker proves maddening through much of the film at the slow-burn pace Reitman has dictated, and it becomes obvious that at some point the bubble on her misguided journey will burst into an ugly mess. Yet despite this foreseeable direction, the climax proves stirring and not without a set of surprises.

Adding to the complexity of Mavis reclaiming her past is Matt (Patton Oswalt), a former classmate she barely noticed because they were miles apart on the social spectrum. The two bond over their appreciation for (or dependency on) bourbon, and their relationship allows Theron's character a chance to blow off steam, albeit irresponsibly.

Mavis eventually remembers Matt as the "hate crime kid" because he was brutally beaten to the point of being disabled in high school at the hands of some jocks who thought he was gay. He serves as a strong comparison point for Mavis' high school experience throughout the film. Oswalt's wit also matches well with Cody's style and Matt actually turns into one of the better depictions of a disabled character probably ever. Other than the incident that caused it, we're not asked to sympathize excessively with his condition, nor do Mavis' snarky remarks about it come across as rude.

Cody's dialogue is much more restrained this time around; "Juno" is eons funnier as a result, but the sacrifice of laughs allows us to focus on the film as a character study of a woman who hasn't quite learned how to be an adult. The script's only deficiency comes from a crater- sized hole in Mavis' history. "Young Adult" deserves praise for being a film about living in the past that contains not a single flashback, but knowing more about Mavis' divorce and how she came to break up with Buddy the first time could have significantly informed the story, especially as to why Mavis willfully lives her life as the trainwreck it clearly is.

The film's climax helps a bit in this regard, and Mavis' epiphany avoids being cliché despite the obvious "appreciate what you have" motif. Part of the message oddly suggests that small- town folks lead purposeless lives for the sake of achieving some kind of blissful stasis, but at the same time the idea that all of us are broken people that need to affirm and trudge forward — not backward — with our various blemishes, will surely resonate.

~Steven C

Visit my site! moviemusereviews.com


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