Compared to Jason Reitman’s other films, like Juno, Thank You For Smoking, and Up in the Air, Young Adult is certainly below par. But don’t let that scare you away. Charlize Theron certainly delivers one of her best performances to date (with the exception of Monster, which is on its own level because, come on, that was one of the greatest performances of all time) and she is backed up by great supporting roles, especially Patton Oswalt and Patrick Wilson.
She plays an author of young adult fiction, gossipy high-school drama – a subject she has never stopped being a pro at since she has refused to grow up and take responsibility for the train wreck her life become. She sleeps around, chugs Diet Coke from the two-liters (looking very much like an infant pulling on a bottle of milk), and spends most of her time avoiding her publishers and staying completely hammered. “Take that liver!” When she hears that her old high-school flame is happily married and has a new baby, she can’t take it! She heads back to her hometown to win him back. So he’s married and has a kid? “We can beat this thing,” she says, completely serious.
We spend the entire movie hating her, which is perhaps a difficult task, or maybe it isn’t. Her complete believability in this role is a hard task, however, and Theron certainly deserves props for her work here. So too, does Oswalt, who gives the film its heart, and ultimately a meaning and purpose. Without him, I might have hated this movie.
An interesting one-timer that should be noted for its dialogue and performances, but not too much else. It’s fun, with a hard kick.
Rated R for language and some sexual content.
Running Time: 94 Minutes.
Released in theatres: December 16th, 2011.