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Young Adult (2011)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 54,575 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)

Young Adult (2011) on IMDb 6.3/10

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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

Portions of the film taking place in the Midwest were filmed outside Churchill Apartments in downtown Minneapolis. 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

Mary Ellen Trantowski: [regarding Mavis] Psychotic prom queen bitch.
See more »

Connections

References Hello Kitty (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Picture On The Wall
Written by Freddie McKay
Performed by The Lions
Courtesy of Stones Throw Records, LLC
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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


51 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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