Quirky, off-beat, this is usually what Hollywood calls boring movies with no special effects and a weird ending.
In the case of Jason Reitman’s new movie Young Adult, these terms can be applied, but in their truest sense. It’s a film that gives quirk and off-beat a good name.
Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron – above) is a recently divorced, 37-year-old ghost writer of ‘young adult’ novels living in Minneapolis (The Mini-apple). During a spell of writers block she is notified by email of the birth of her ex-s (Buddy Slade played by Patrick Wilson) new baby. A one night stand later she’s on her way back to her small town beginnings in Mercury to reclaim what she thinks is rightfully hers. Buddy.
Written by Diablo Cody, you can imagine the characters of Young Adult existing in the same world as the ones in Juno, her previous collaboration with Reitman.
The whole cast is excellent, and Theron is one of the few leading ladies who don’t allow her good looks to overshadow her performance as an actress. She is brilliantly convincing as a woman staring at adulthood abyss through a glass of aged whiskey, still struggling to find her place in the world.
There are many moments of comic tragedy throughout, like the time she spends eaves-dropping shop assistants conversations for her new book, and the movie throws up some interesting questions on the relationship between success and happiness. Ultimately it’s about how some people grow up, and some stay the same.
It’s not a ‘feel-good’ movie like Juno, but it made me feel something, interestingly though am just not quite sure what. For that reason alone it stands above 90% of films I’ve seen lately.
Young Adult is released in the UK on February 3rd.