6.3/10
68,517
207 user 326 critic

Young Adult (2011)

Trailer
1:59 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
4,135 ( 259)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Jan
...
...
Rebecca Hart ...
Nipple Confusion Guitarist
...
Front Desk Girl
...
...
Book Associate
...
Vicki
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adultos jóvenes  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$310,263, 11 December 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$16,311,571, 23 February 2012

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,939,027
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jason Reitman personally asked Charlize Theron to star in the film, at the 2009 Oscars. 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

Mavis Gary: [to Beth] Fuck you! You fucking bitch!
[laughing]
Mavis Gary: Oh my God. You should see your face. It's a joke. Are you just gonna stand there like a big lump? I love your sweater.
Beth Slade: I'll get you a rag.
Mavis Gary: Go get me a rag because you got so many of those lying around here. Fucking burp cloths, whatever. You know the funny thing is, I could have had this party a long time ago. This exact same party. Yeah! Buddy and I were together for four years and we were inseparable. Jan knows. Right, Jan? Tell them!
Beth Slade: You want ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Big Picture: February 2012 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Feels genuine
16 December 2011 | by See all my reviews

Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody have been kind of hit or miss for me or at least that's what I like to think. I didn't enjoy Juno nearly as much as everyone else seemed to while Jennifer's Body, while not great, may have been better received on my end than what most give it credit for mostly because I have such a soft spot for horror. On the other hand though, Up in the Air was fairly fantastic all around. With that said, the main thing attracting me to Young Adult was the fact that Patton Oswalt had a rather big supporting role. Despite the fact that Charlize Theron has done so many things since and has won an Oscar, films like The Astronaut's Wife and The Devil's Advocate only come to mind whenever she's featured in anything which isn't flattering at all. So there was kind of this sense of dread going into Young Adult, but was it justified? The short answer is no, but it doesn't completely blow you away either.

There was an Entertainment Weekly article a few weeks ago where Theron said she aimed to not only be a mean-spirited individual, but also easily relatable as well. That's the trickiest part with a character like this. Anyone can be cold or act black hearted, but doing that while also displaying qualities that make you feel sorry for them and/or feel like something you went through in your life is something special. Imagining anyone else in this role is practically impossible, as well. The entire premise seems to be built around Theron. She seems to be playing herself or at least a slightly exaggerated version of how she is in real life. That more than likely contributes to the movie working as well as it does.

One of the other great things about the movie is that it's mostly unexpected. Young adult fiction writer Mavis Gary (Theron) currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota but decides to return to her small hometown of Mercury after receiving an email from her high school boyfriend Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) welcoming his first child into the world. Mavis somehow thinks that her and Buddy are meant to be together and despite Buddy being happily married and having a daughter that he loves dearly, Mavis thinks they can work past that to make things right between them. The outcome of the events is probably pretty predictable, but the relationships in between unfold in a way that you probably don't see coming. I'm mostly referring to Mavis and Matt Freehauf's (Patton Oswalt) friendship as it goes in a direction that feels far too human for such a superficial individual like Mavis. Oswalt also seems to be playing an exaggerated version of himself as well as he makes full use of his geekiness. The Pixies shirt was also a nice touch. But Young Adult is mostly entertaining due to the way it feels genuine despite revolving around somebody who is as harsh and selfish as Mavis Gray is.

Young Adult is very dark and downright bleak at times, but that's one of its most distinguishing traits. You'll more than likely find something to relate to in Mavis Gray whether it was you who was the popular kid in school, are just as depressed as she is, think you may be an alcoholic, or you're a writer, Mavis isn't really in the right frame of mind and maybe that's the most relatable part of her character. Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt share a kind of twisted chemistry that involves some fairly witty dialogue at times, but is mostly them dragging the other one through the mud with their words, which strangely only illustrates how miserable and similar their two characters are. Young Adult is a very fascinating dark comedy that is laugh out loud funny at times due to its cruelness, but shines thanks to its authenticity.


45 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 207 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

The New Class of Holiday Classics

"The IMDb Show" breaks down some of the most memorable and festive animated holiday specials and connects the dots between IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017.

Watch now