Young Adult

Mavis is screwed up. Like, seriously. But no more than the rest of us – and that’s where the beauty of Young Adult lies.

Young Adult was released in 2011, so I’m a bit late to the game, but its mixed reviews are highly confusing. Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman team up to create a, dare I say, powerhouse film; it’s just much more subtle than my realist faves, such as Revolutionary Road or other films that criticize and analyze the failure of any average American’s life.

But Young Adult is much more than a 30-ish woman failing to rise from her high school throne, plagued by fallen marriages and a fruitless womb. With absolute hilarity (thank you, Patton Oswalt for joining this movie), Young Adult flirts with the question, “Is anyone really happy?”

And the best thing is, Cody and Reitman never answer the question. It’s still in the air if whether Buddy is happy in his marriage; if Freehauf is a man who’s come to terms with his disability, or a man running away from real life to his action figures; if Mavis has truly found out that toying with booze and men is not a fulfilled life.

But the second to last scene is where the answer to these questions are hinted at. After Freehauf’s sister drowns Mavis in praise and belittles the “dumb and fat” town of Mercury (repeating the cafeteria cliques of decades past), and asks if she can partner up with Marvis to the grand ole’ city, Marvis shares that, well, “you’re good here.” Ouch. And once Marvis drives off in her beaten car to a life not changed, we can see that life must be something more than what these group of characters wrestle with.

Young Adult is now available on Netflix Instant, but its not a pretty Charlize Theron cracking the audience up with her antics. It’s an intimate viewing of everyone’s struggle to stretch beyond being a Young Adult.

☆☆☆☆ and 1/2 Stars

24 thoughts on “Young Adult

  1. So glad you enjoyed the movie. I loved it when I saw it a year ago and with each rewatch I only loved it more, it’s now one of my all time favorites. The writing and Theron are just incredible.

  2. Excellent review! It’s beautifully written and insightful. I just watched this — I didn’t like it as much as you did, and I found Mavis difficult to relate to. However, I did enjoy the movie, and I definitely get where you were coming from. 🙂 You looked at it from a broader perspective than I did. I basically just saw it as a character study.

  3. Really nice review here. This was a film that I thought was decent, but after days of not leaving my head, I realized how remarkable it is. I didn’t know it was on Netflix. Gonna give it a rewatch soon!

  4. I don’t always love Charlize Theron, but I do enjoy Jason Reitman’s movies. Plus it doesn’t hurt to have a brilliant actor/comedian like Patton Oswalt onboard. I’ll definitely have to check this one out.

  5. I’ve seen this film a few times, and still can’t make up my mind whether I like it or not. I thought I didn’t like it initially, but I keep on returning to it, to watch it again… Hopefully one day I’ll work it out!

    Great review!

  6. I loved Young Adult! It’s def one of those movies you can somehow skip between the high-profile releases, but when you catch up, it makes you smile, think, question, regret and come to terms with life. It’s both an easy watch and a hard pill to swallow; not to mention Charlize is as amazing as ever. Thank you for reminding me of it, I am totally re-watching tonight! :))

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