6.3/10
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219 user 334 critic

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.

Director:

Jason Reitman

Writer:

Diablo Cody
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Popularity
2,190 ( 635)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlize Theron ... Mavis Gary
Patton Oswalt ... Matt Freehauf
Patrick Wilson ... Buddy Slade
Elizabeth Reaser ... Beth Slade
Collette Wolfe ... Sandra Freehauf
Jill Eikenberry ... Hedda Gary
Richard Bekins ... David Gary
Mary Beth Hurt ... Jan
Kate Nowlin ... Mary Ellen Trantowski
Jenny Dare Paulin ... Nipple Confusion Bassist
Rebecca Hart Rebecca Hart ... Nipple Confusion Guitarist
Louisa Krause ... Front Desk Girl
Elizabeth Ward Land ... Sales Lady
Brian McElhaney ... Book Associate
Hettienne Park ... Vicki
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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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adultos jóvenes See more »

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mavis's drink of choice is a Maker's Mark. In Juno (2007), also directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, when Vanessa offers drinks, Juno asks for a Maker's Mark straight up. See more »

Goofs

Mavis's car, earlier in the movie when struck to a post in the parking lot, has only the bonnet deformed with lights intact. Later when she is shown driving it again the lights are messed up too. See more »

Quotes

Matt Freehauf: Buddy is a married man. By all accounts, happily.
Mavis Gary: Yeah, happily married men go to bars alone with their ex-girlfriends all the time. They call them privately and they make out with them on porches.
Matt Freehauf: He did not make out with you.
Mavis Gary: You weren't there. We made out. It was intense and passionate. He gave me his sweatshirt.
Matt Freehauf: Yes, I noticed. They probably noticed in space. And FYI, you look completely insane wearing it. Look, I don't know what Buddy's doing with you or what you think he's doing with you,...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.22 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Picture On The Wall
Written by Freddie McKay
Performed by The Lions
Courtesy of Stones Throw Records, LLC
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Baggage and Bourbon, Neat
14 December 2011 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Writer Diablo Cody and Director Jason Reitman reunite for the first time since their breakout hit "Juno". In that fine film, we were treated to many optimistic and sarcastic life lessons from a very likable, and easy to cheer for, teenage girl. This time around we get the caustic, childlike self-centeredness of a mid-30's alcoholic sadly trying to recapture the magic of her high school years as the prom queen dating the coolest guy.

Ms. Cody and Mr. Reitman deserve much credit for steering clear of the Hollywood traditions of redemption, remorse, and turning over a new leaf. In fact, we probably dislike Mavis (Charlize Theron) even more as the movie ends than we did in the film's first 5 minutes, if that's even possible. It takes courage as a filmmaker to have a lead character who is disliked through the entire movie, not just by the people in her life, but also by the audience. It also takes a special actress to pull this off. If you saw Theron in her Oscar winning role in "Monster", believe me when I say that she is equally unsympathetic here ... though she does commit fewer actual crimes.

This film is erroneously marketed as a smart comedy. While there are some funny elements, it's difficult to find much humor in someone who is so unstable and narcissistic. Wisely, the script provides us with Matt (Patton Oswalt) as the voice of reason. He sees through the Mavis mask and speaks directly in his attempts to divert her from her plan. That plan is to break up the marriage of her high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson). Oh yeah, he just happens to be happily married (Elizabeth Reaser) with a newborn baby.

The best scenes of the film are between Mavis and Matt. She is oblivious to her negative effect on others, while he shoots her straight while avoiding his own harsh reality. See, Matt was the victim of a vicious hate crime, which left his leg (and other things) mangled. His own view of life is why he can see right through Mavis and her issues. While I so admire the basis of the script, I just believe there is a missing element. The element of hope and optimism. Heck, even when Mavis admits she "might be an alcoholic", her parents shrug it off and change topics. Sometimes crying out for help just isn't enough.

The film is worth seeing for the performances of Theron and Oswalt, as well as for the unique script. Just don't get tricked into believing it's some laugh riot with a fairy tale ending. Mavis is a ghost writer for teen novels, and she writes the latest as she lives this nightmare of a trip back home. My only real question ... is she mature enough to write for teens?


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