Adventureland – Review

Posted January 19, 2009 in
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Director: Greg Mottola

While the all-star cast (Bill Hader, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds) delivers an exceptional set performances in Greg Mottola's 80's coming of age drama, the film itself lacks the characteristic style or flair of films such as Dazed and Confused, Superbad, or The Breakfast Club. However, the film does take the absolutely baffling series of emotions regarding teenage love to its peak - and showing that these emotions don't make any more sense when one is no longer in high school. A film for those who want desperately to fall hopelessly for someone, yet realize how imperfect they both are and how little they know of each other. With such a heavy drama element, the characters are portrayed in a much more mundane and realistic manner than Kevin Smith's witty banterer's or Diablo Cody's jaded hipsters. The core of the characters is really exposed in this manner - we have intellectually mature yet relationship-challenged youth growing up around semi-dysfunctional families. However, this hyperrealistic manner paired with the ultra hip soundtrack and 80's setting left me a bit lost. Why go through all of the effort for the Lou Reed references for such socially misplaced and friendless youth? Perhaps to leave more room for the awkward and slow-moving romance? I am not sure, but it did leave a small bit of cultural distraction in the film.

Not to be dismissed, the film as a whole is touching to all of us who have seemingly messed up our own relationships beyond repair yet desperately wanted to be with that person again.

-Ryan Powers