If you’re anything like me, you probably saw the trailer for Young Adult, thought it did not look enjoyable, but managed to convince yourself you should still see this film because the writer AND director of Juno was involved in this movie, which means it must be good. The trailer was probably just made by really depressed people who were bitter about the world and had some sort of vengeance against Ellen Page so they made the movie look as bad as possible. Well, I’m here to tell you that sadly, it really is just as bad as it looks. I promise you that this movie is nothing like Juno.
The story of this film is simple: Charlize Theron gets an e-mail announcing that her ex-boyfriend (Patrick Wilson) had a baby. So she does the logical thing (in her mind) and drives back to her home town (during a very long, repetitive, and boring opening sequence that was trying to be artistic but just fell horribly short of anything even resembling entertaining) because she’s convinced they’re going to get together. Of course it is established that she is going to fail horribly at the very beginning, yet she continues to push him to fall in love with her throughout the rest of the film. The story is exactly that. There is nothing extraordinary about the protagonist that makes up for the fact that she does not change in any way by the end of the film or the fact that she’s rather boring. The title of the film comes from the fact that she’s a young adult writer, and although Cody attempts to relate this to the story, she completely fails at this. When you peel back all the layers of this story (granted, there aren’t many), all you really get is a self-indulgent piece that I can’t help but feel is really only enjoyable to Diablo Cody.
Everything about this film just screams depression. As I’ve already hinted above, the main character, Mavis, basically just hates her life. And who can blame her with a name like Mavis? But beyond the main character, the man who becomes her only confidant, Matt (played by Patton Oswalt), was the victim of a severe hate crime that is constantly held over the audience’s head in an attempt to make you feel sympathy (again, Diablo Cody doesn’t get that we just don’t care about these characters). The movie is constantly lit with a horrible Twilight Saga-blue tint, whether it was day or night, that honestly kind of just made me want to kill myself.
I have two nice things to say about this film. One: Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt actually had some good chemistry. They both gave rather good performances in the film. It’s a shame I didn’t care about the effort they were putting in because I didn’t care about their characters in any way, shape, or form. Two: I feel like Jason Reitman did a good job as a director. He got the point of the film and executed the film so that the result was what he was aiming for. However, that still doesn’t stop me from wondering what made him decide making this film was a good idea. This only gives me further reason to believe he’s sleeping with Diablo Cody. The two good points are the reason I can’t say this is the worst movie I’ve seen in my entire life, so I’ll be a little generous and give this film 2 out of 5 Nerdskulls.