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 life 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.
James Franco's character in The Pineapple Express smokes a crossjoint, which is three different kinds of marijuana rolled into a t shaped joint. The crossjoint also makes an appearance in this film, which also features James Franco. See more »
When April is babysitting, she turns on a movie for the little boy, who says he likes the film. What they're supposed to be watching is Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but the song being played is not the Cars' version of Moving in Stereo, nor is the scene played from the actual film, but a Phoebe Cates look-alike in a red bikini baring her breasts. What's shown and heard is clearly not from the film, even the background is quite obviously different. See more »
You want to cry and smile, but instead you just stare and you can't do anything.
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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.
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