Young Adult

Year: 2011
Studio: Paramount
Director: Jason Reitman
Producer: Jason Reitman/Diablo Cody
Writer: Diablo Cody
Cast: Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt

I wasn't altogether aware this was a Jason Reitman film when I saw it. If I had been I might have been better prepared for the experience. I expected it to be more of a broad comedy and also have more of a point that I could see. Though it's ironic because this complaint usually applies the other way around, if the characters had a little less depth and issued a few more one-liners it might have stood out more.

Charlize Theron is Mavis, a divorced writer on the verge of terminal obscurity as the young adult series she's writing is going to be canned (and she doesn't even get her name on it, ghost writing for other authors).

She hears about the birth of her former high school sweetheart's new baby and decides to capitalise on her former status as the most popular and pretty girl in school to go back and steal him away for herself. It's never entirely clear why, but she packs up and goes to the small Minnesota she's from, launching a campaign to seduce him and convince him to leave with her even though he's perfectly happy with his wife and new family.

At the same time she makes friends with a former school nerd (Oswalt), who provides the only emotional support she has even while he tries to talk sense into her, and it soon becomes clear she occupies a world of completely different realities and expectations as everyone around her, all of them having grown up and moved on except her.

The story never hit any impacts, it just kind of meanders, and when the crunch comes for Mavis she finally gets the point you've seen for the whole movie. Theron and Wilson as her ex both give good dramatic performances, but it's missing some sort of X factor I can't really put my finger on.

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