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
In the movie, Mavis is the ghostwriter of a popular YA book series. In real life, Diablo Cody, the writer of the film, is a big Sweet Valley High fan (another YA book series with a ghostwriter). The book covers in "Young Adult" resembles those of the "Sweet Valley High" books. Cody actually plans to make a "Sweet Valley High" movie. See more »
The highway signs (I-35, I-535 & US Hwy 53) outside the Hampton Inn that Mavis checks into would seem to place Mercury, MN in the Duluth area, but the strip mall next door features a Chuck E. Cheese's, Raymour & Flanigan Furniture, and Liquid Ice. The nearest Chuck E. Cheese's are several hours away in the Minneapolis area. Raymour & Flanigan and Liquid Ice are chains only found in the Northeastern US (PA, NY, New England), and a highway sign seen after the interstate signs at the hotel is a New York State Route 35 sign supports that. See more »
She wears denim wherever she goes. Says she's gonna get some records by the Status Quo, oh yeah! I didn't want to hurt you. Oh yeah!
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This is one of those films you read about and really look forward to; but, once seen, you realize that, while good, it's not quite worthy of the build up.
Charlize Theron is quite good and makes the most of the script she has to work with. As always, hers eyes, facial expression and body language all help her bring life to the role.
Patton Oswalt also does a star turn as a bit of conscience for Charlize's character.
The story is well told, albeit a bit of a stretch. For someone reaching back to her past for a lost love, Charlize's character is quite believable; it's her long ago beau, Patrick Wilson, that's not quite up to snuff. Given that these two play off each other for a great deal of the film, it would be nicer to have had a better performer opposite her.
That said, it's worth watching, though probably a bit depressing for many viewers.
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