In the summer of 1987, a college graduate takes a 'nowhere' job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.

Director:

Greg Mottola

Writer:

Greg Mottola
Reviews
Popularity
2,543 ( 411)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jesse Eisenberg ... James Brennan
Martin Starr ... Joel
Jack Gilpin ... Mr. Brennan
Margarita Levieva ... Lisa P.
Wendie Malick ... Mrs. Brennan
Kristen Wiig ... Paulette
Bill Hader ... Bobby
Matt Bush ... Tommy Frigo
Paige Howard ... Sue O'Malley
Dan Bittner ... Pete O'Malley
Josh Pais ... Mr. Lewin
Mary Birdsong ... Francy
Kristen Stewart ... Em Lewin
Barret Hackney Barret Hackney ... Munch (as Barrett Hackney)
Michael Zegen ... Eric
Edit

Storyline

In 1987, James Brennan's dreams of a summer European tour before studying at an Ivy League school in New York City are ruined after his parents have a severe career setback. As a result, James must get a summer job to cover his upcoming expenses at the decrepit local amusement park, Adventureland, where he falls in love with a witty co-worker, Emily Lewin. In that bizarrely shady workplace, the young carnies have unforgettable and painful learning experiences about life, love and trust while James discovers what he truly values. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It was the worst job they ever imagined... and the best time of their lives. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug use and sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 1987. See more »

Goofs

In the club, Lisa P. is briefly dancing the Macarena, a 1990s dance. See more »

Quotes

Em Lewin: I thought you were off today.
James Brennan: I need to tell you something. Last week I went on a date with Lisa P. She asked me out. It was nothing. We kissed a little bit at the end of the date and I felt her breast a little bit, but nothing else.
Em Lewin: Right. No intercourse?
James Brennan: No. No intercourse. Look, I'm sorry. It's just you and I never talked about being exclusive. I don't want to see her again, okay? You're the one I.
[pauses]
James Brennan: Look, we'll both be in New York soon and I want to hang out with you. I want to get to ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

A commercial for the Adventureland amusement park can be seen during the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in WatchMojo: Another Top 10 Misleading Movie Trailers (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

American Patrol March
Written by F.W. Meacham (uncredited)
Arranged and Performed by Bob Stuhmer
Courtesy of Notable Tunes
See more »

User Reviews

 
Roller-coaster of Love
7 April 2009 | by oscarxp25See all my reviews

"Adventureland"- ***1/2 BY: Kevin Muller The marketing for this film is terrible, just absolutely awful. The studio is pushing this film as the next "Superbad", just because the director of that film directed this gem. The truth is, this is far different than "Superbad", besides a few gross out gags. Where that film prided itself on its crudeness and vulgarity, this film prides itself on heart and pure emotion.

"Adventureland" has the feel of teen movies both from the 80's and 90's (more the 80's though). You have a sensitive character who is still trying to figure out who he is, and by a sequence of events, falls in love and more importantly, finds his true self. What makes the movie even more appealing is that it not only doesn't treat its characters as generic stereotypes, but as humans, which makes them more appealing to the audience.

Our main character here is James (played perfectly by Jessie Eisenberg) who has just graduated college and is looking forward to his trip to Europe with his fellow pal. The trip is not only supposed to be his graduation present, but also a way to escape his recent heartbreak, due to an emotional breakup. Things unfortunately go south with his finances, which forces him to get a job at the local amusement park. There he meets some interesting people: the two owners (Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig), nerdy Joel (the likable Martin Starr) and the beautiful "Em" (Kristen Stewert).

James and Em quickly fall for each other, but there is one small problem, she is in a very dysfunctional relationship with Connell (Ryan Reynolds), who plays the married park maintenance guy. Reynolds, who usually adds the goofy humor to every film he is in, holds back to really give the character a deepness that I was surprised he pulled off. I thought his performance was going to be similar to his Monty character from "Waiting". I applaud the restraint that he held throughout the film, because the character could have gone down that route very easily.

What makes this film work though is that director Greg Mottola doesn't overdo any aspect of the movie. The comedy, drama, and situations are all well balanced, which makes the film feel real. As I stated before, Reynolds is grounded, as is the rest of the cast with their performances. Eisenberg, who is accused of playing Michael Cera, gives a very layered and human performance. I am sorry to you Cera fans, but the awkward and caring guy thing was around way before Cera did it. Stewert, is just perfect in this role, she gives Em vulnerability, but makes her lovable at the same time. These two give perfect performances because neither of them have all the answers and it is about the deep connection they share, not just about the sex.

Go see this film, it deserves to be seen. This is a movie that Hollywood doesn't make anymore; a sweet, smart, moving and humorous experience that hopefully starts a chain of movies like it to follow.


158 of 199 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 249 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adventureland See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,722,039, 5 April 2009

Gross USA:

$16,044,025

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,164,820
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed