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Young Adult (2011)

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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 3 wins & 29 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 »

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Details

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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)
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Josh Brolin was rumored to star in the movie. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mavis Gary: Hey, do you know this girl named Beth? She married Buddy Slade from school.
Sandra Freehauf: Yeah, I know that Beth.
Mavis Gary: What do you think of her?
Sandra Freehauf: I don't really like her. I mean, I think you're way prettier than she is. What happened to your dress? I'm sorry, did I say something wrong? Shit. What's wrong? What did I say?
Mavis Gary: I have a lot of problems.
Sandra Freehauf: Can't you get a new dress?
Mavis Gary: It's really difficult for me to be happy. And then for other people it just seems so simple. I know. They just grow up and they're so fulfilled...
Sandra Freehauf:
Mavis Gary:
Sandra Freehauf:
[...]
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Connections

References Hello Kitty and Friends (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Peach Melba
Written and Performed by Brian Dee
Courtesy of 5 Alarm Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Theron Delivers the Goods as the Unrepentant Queen of Small-Town Mean
19 December 2011 | by (San Francisco, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

Without an iota of irony, Charlize Theron finally uses her intimidating beauty for pure Machiavellian evil, and the results are fortuitous in this dark-hued 2011 comedy, the latest collaboration of director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody ("Juno"). She's absolutely spot-on terrific playing Mavis Gary, the condescending, hateful high school girl who comes back to Mercury, her podunk hometown nearly two decades later. Mavis is no Blanche Dubois-type character whose ladylike beauty has faded into a gauzy romantic delusion. No, Mavis is still one hot babe and very much the complete narcissist she was as a teenager, emotionally stunted despite her relative worldliness having moved to Minneapolis to become a ghostwriter of a series of teen novels.

It's not surprising she finds success writing for an adolescent audience since she still defines her life with teenage-level priorities and fantasies. As she has proved with "Juno", Cody is thoroughly fluent with this perspective, but the twist is that this time, it's coming from a jaded 37-year-old woman. Even though Mavis is a divorcée who lives in a high-rise apartment with a toy dog and can easily get any man she wants, she is triggered by a birth announcement email she receives from her high school sweetheart Buddy Slade and becomes fixated on getting him back all these years later. It doesn't matter that he's happily married and perfectly content living in Mercury. She concocts a scheme to make herself so alluring that he will want to run away with her. Normally, this would be an excuse for broad comedy machinations, but Theron is so gorgeous that it makes her shameless attempts at seduction all the more edgily desperate.

It's a narrowly developed plot for sure, but surprisingly, what enriches the proceedings is the unexpected relationship Mavis develops with Matt Freehauf, a sad-sack former classmate whose sole claim to notoriety was being the victim of a hate crime when he was beaten up and left for dead by a group of jocks who assumed he was gay. He has been left crippled, living in Mercury with his sister making his own home-brewed bourbon and putting together mix-and-match action figures. That Mavis and Matt connect is all the more intriguing since they were at opposite ends of the social spectrum back in school, and their present-day bond is also fueled by her obvious alcoholism, a point that is overlooked by her befuddled parents who wish to think of Mavis as the flawless pretty daughter of their own deluded fantasies. The story evolves in the direction you would expect but not before certain revelations come to light in a tortuous scene at the baby-naming party Buddy and his sensible wife Beth have with all their relatives and close friends in attendance.

Beyond Theron's fearless work and intentionally deadpan line delivery, there is comedian Patton Oswalt's surprisingly affecting performance as Matt. I only know him from his recurring role as a comical sad-sack on the sitcom "King of Queens", so it's surprising to see the amount of texture he brings to this role. As Buddy, Patrick Wilson once again plays the sought-after himbo, but this time, his character's unshaven, small-town modesty comes across as more contrite with his character's feelings toward Mavis left quite elliptical. Elizabeth Reaser ("Sweet Land") isn't given that much to do as Beth, probably by intention, but Collette Wolf has a few impactful moments as Matt's insulated sister still idolizing Mavis after all these years. As he showed with "Juno" and "Up in the Air", Reitman shows a deft hand with actors playing flawed characters who try to manipulate their circumstances but fall short of their vaunted expectations.


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