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Adventureland back to product details

post-grad exploitation both fresh and interesting
written by mkaliher2 April 18, 2011 - 2:45 PM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
This film about college grads who seem to be suffering from arrested development is complex. Although they hardly seem ready for college, most have already graduated, but have taken a summer job in an amusement park in order to earn some money for their first year of grad school. Think teen exploitation in which the teens are old enough to drink.

Personally, it took me some time to get used to Jesse Eisenberg's habit of talking fast without moving his lips, but once I got past that--and the shadow of his portrayal of the unpleasant Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network--I was able to buy into his character.

All the acting was quite good, and Kristen Stewart (apparently of Twilight fame, although Ive never seen it) was quite convincing as a wan, yet attractive 21-year-old who is confused and vulnerable, still searching out her adult identity. Eisenberg's skill as an actor, which wasn't exploited in The Social Network, is obvious here.

While it may be mumblecore, the film has a distinctly independent feel, and tells an engaging story well.

Adventureland deserved a better fate.
written by underdog February 22, 2010 - 3:27 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Here's a case of a film that was totally mis-marketed. I'll admit, I finally saw Adventureland quite a bit late, after it had already moved theaters (and in my case, the fact that I was literally the only one in the theater(!) can probably more be blamed on that fact as well as that it was 4 o'clock on a weekday), but it's still easy to gauge how much it deserved a better fate. The marketing campaign sold it as a rather ribald, silly comedy, with comic actors like Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, and from the director of Superbad (and the movie font and colors even look a little Superbad-ish, and Jesse Eisenberg even seems at first glance like Michael Cera's slightly older brother), and I guess you can't totally blame them, but the film -- although it definitely has its share of laughs -- isn't just a comedy or a coming of age story but goes deeper than that to create a wholly relatable universe of people that you care about. I even found the ending moving, unexpectedly so.

I'll admit I'm also a sucker for the soundtrack -- which was the soundtrack of my high school years (I was in h.s., just finishing it, in the year the film is set, 1987): from Minneapolis punk/indie rockers Husker Du to the more pop-ish, mellow new wave of Crowded House, this was my soundtrack too. While a cynic may say that the film doesn't necessarily had to have been set then, but it's not just the music that is of that time and place, it's the characters and more importantly the locale itself, the fading amusement park, that needed to go 2 decades back.

Both Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart are so incredibly appealing and empathetic young actors (sad to me that millions more will see her in Twilight than in this), as is the supporting cast, which includes Freaks and Geeks/Knocked Up's Martin Starr as his philosophizing, pipe-smoking, insecure friend, along with some relative newcomers, and Ryan Reynolds who makes what could have been a caricature of a role, the older guy cheating on his wife with girls who are way too young for him, into a 3-dimensional creation -- you even feel for him a bit, despite what a slime he is. The cast raises it to even another level.

Anyway, see it, and bring friends so you're not alone. (Reposting from my blog,

written by RBuxbaum January 29, 2010 - 11:05 AM PST
0 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Low grade mumblecore.


(Average 6.52)
27 Votes
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