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Palo Alto (2013)

R | | Drama | 9 May 2014 (USA)
1:46 | Trailer

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The life and struggles of a group of adolescents living in Palo Alto.


Gia Coppola


Gia Coppola, James Franco (book)
3,860 ( 1,112)
4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Kilmer ... Teddy
Nat Wolff ... Fred
Emma Roberts ... April
Olivia Crocicchia ... Chrissy
Claudia Levy ... Shauna
James Franco ... Mr. B
Val Kilmer ... Stewart
Jacqui Getty Jacqui Getty ... Jane
Andrew Lutheran ... Ivan
Bo Mitchell ... Jack O
Bailey Coppola Bailey Coppola ... Seth
Zoe Levin ... Emily
Brennen Taylor ... Luke (as Brenden Taylor)
Atlanta Decadenet Atlanta Decadenet ... Girl at Party (as Atlanta Decadenet Taylor)
Colleen Camp ... Sally


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


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



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:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

9 May 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Пало Алто See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »


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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Despite being the son of two famous actors, Jack Kilmer had never acted prior to being cast in this film and had no intention of ever doing so. See more »


When April is babysitting Michael, he is playing Mortal Kombat. The buttons show on screen are the buttons on the Playstation controllers, while in the actual scene we see Michael and April playing with Xbox 360 controllers. The Xbox 360 is also the video game sitting besides the TV. See more »


April: I'm not depressed, why do you always think I'm depressed? I'm just tired.
See more »


References The Virgin Suicides (1999) See more »


Enter the Ninja
Performed by Die Antwoord
Courtesy of Interscope Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

Teens in Anguish:A clichéd but credible entry for another Coppola.
18 June 2014 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"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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