Shy, sensitive April is the class virgin, torn between an illicit flirtation with her soccer coach Mr. B and an unrequited crush on sweet stoner Teddy. Emily, meanwhile, offers sexual ... See full summary »
George, a lonely and fatalistic teen who has made it all the way to his senior year without ever having done a real day of work, is befriended by Sally, a popular but complicated girl who recognizes in him a kindred spirit.
Two New York City girls make a pact to lose their virginity during their first summer out of high school. When they both fall for the same street artist, the friends find their connection tested for the first time.
Shy, sensitive April is the class virgin, torn between an illicit flirtation with her soccer coach Mr. B and an unrequited crush on sweet stoner Teddy. Emily, meanwhile, offers sexual favors to every boy to cross her path - including both Teddy and his best friend Fred, a live wire without filters or boundaries. As one high school party bleeds into the next - and April and Teddy struggle to admit their mutual affection - Fred's escalating recklessness starts to spiral into chaos. Written by
Teens in Anguish:A clichéd but credible entry for another Coppola.
"If you were in olden times, what would you do?" Fred (Nat Wolff)
If the ennui and aimlessness of teens, as depicted in Palo Alto, represents the upper-middle class's decline, then we all may be in trouble. The above question is answered about the universal life of teens throughout modern times: Things will be no different, and maybe worse. Writer/Director Gia Coppola captures the disaffection and confusion of late high schoolers in an affluent suburb while she eschews the basics of good story telling, like meaningful conflict and resolution.
The coming-of-age tale of burb loneliness has been told since the 60's. Yet, with cell phones to text each other, maybe these emotional wanderers are more connected and purposeful than I thought. It's just that the story too well mirrors their purposefulness.
Palo Alto captures the lost world of drug and sex-addled seniors who indulge too much and suffer the expected consequences of excess and conscience. April (Emma Roberts) appears to be the only virgin in the crew, a soccer player having a hackneyed illicit affair with her coach, Mr. B. (James Franco) but seemingly unrequited love for sweet artist Teddy (Jack Kilmer).The others lost in a fog of weed and useless sex like Teddy and Fred wander in the night doped up and hungry for meaning.
And that's all, folks. Like the lost souls of the story, the film wanders among the strands of James Franco's short stories looking for a common thread to bind the characters more than the typical stoner discursiveness and the serious limitations of suburbia. Look for Aunt Sofia's Bling Ring to get a better feel for true teen angst, disaffection, and lawlessness.
The best I can say is that Coppola shows the familial gift of mesmerizing compositions and lighting, promising the great patriarch Frances's gift for powerful storytelling. Right now, Gia Coppola gets the kids right, nails the mood, and will get the story in a few years.
7 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?