6.2/10
24,173
67 user 117 critic

Palo Alto (2013)

R | | Drama | 9 May 2014 (USA)
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The life and struggles of a group of adolescents living in Palo Alto.

Director:

Writers:

, (book)
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Teddy
... Fred
... April
... Chrissy
... Shauna
... Mr. B
... Stewart
Jacqui Getty ... Jane
Andrew Lutheran ... Ivan
... Jack O
Bailey Coppola ... Seth
... Emily
... Luke (as Brenden Taylor)
Atlanta Decadenet ... Girl at Party (as Atlanta Decadenet Taylor)
... Sally
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In every city some seek love, some look for trouble, others look for both.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and pervasive language - all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 May 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Пало Алто  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,461, 11 May 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$750,100, 29 June 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on a book of short stories written by James Franco. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

April: You want to cry and smile, but instead you just stare and you can't do anything.
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Connections

References Where the Wild Things Are (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

April's Daydream
(uncredited)
Written by Blood Orange
Performed by Blood Orange
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User Reviews

 
Honest and moving story on the painful teen years
25 May 2014 | by See all my reviews

Gia Coppola's first film is a winner. I'll admit I made the mistake of reading a few reviews before heading to the theater, all rather shallow and seeming to miss what was important, but they influenced me to the point that I planned to switch films after an hour. But when that hour came, I couldn't leave. I was thoroughly engrossed and invested in the characters. I wanted to know how things worked out for them, and I wasn't disappointed.

Several reviewers have said that it's a good first effort, but it meanders. That it doesn't have much substance. That it has no plot. All wrong, in my opinion. I haven't read James Franco's short stories, upon which this film is based, but I can say that Ms. Coppola has done an excellent job of writing a cohesive screenplay with a good story arc and enough plotting to clearly show that 3 of the main characters -- April, Teddy, and Emily -- learn something important enough from their experiences to change for the better by the end of the film. And the 4th, Fred, is heading for an epiphany, if he can survive long enough to have it. What many have missed is that Ms. Coppola has gotten to the truth here.

Palo Alto accurately captures the teen angst, how hard it is to figure things out, how adults can disappoint/mislead/manipulate us, how we make bad choices, but always with the feeling that we're propelled to do exactly that thing at that moment. High school is not fun. It's something we endure. And it can be an achievement just to get out alive and be heading in a better direction.

It's been ages since I was in high school, and even though this generation is very different than mine, human nature hasn't changed, and the problems haven't changed. I recognized every character, every situation, every bad choice, every consequence. I especially related to "not knowing what to say, so saying nothing." But most important, and I credit Ms. Coppola for this, I really cared about these characters. I even had empathy for one unlikeable character.

That's good writing (credit Franco and Coppola). And it's very good directing, considering the main characters played by Emma Roberts (a standout), Jack Kilmer, Zoe Levin, and Nat Wolff don't have a lot of experience. I like to follow directors whose works say something meaningful about life and honestly earn our emotions. I'll be following Ms. Gia Coppola's work. This is a fine film.


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