Wednesday, September 02, 2009


No one plays the modern nerd as well as Michael Cera. Until now. We have a new champion: Jesse Eisenberg in Adventureland.

While this is a good thing, and Eisenberg is very good as the guy who quotes Shakespeare but doesn't know his way around a group of normal guys, Adventureland is a mixed bag. It's an interesting movie, especially concerning that age group where nothing is guaranteed, most hope is lost, and while they're just beginning their adult lives, they don't know what the future holds. You know, that age. And the acting is very good by Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart (lately of the Twilight series), and a large cast.

There's some humor here, certainly, especially when Eisenberg delivers a line. But in a movie where most of the characters are bored, we're bored. Shitless. Unfortunately, that's the way it is.

Adventureland is the name of a local Pittsburgh amusement park where those kids who have nowhere else to go work for the summer. They might be going to college in the fall. They might be working because their fathers lost their jobs. Or they might be working there just to get away from their disconnected parents.

Kristen Stewart continues to amaze, portraying a young woman whose family didn't understand her, couldn't connect in any way, but whose problems weren't visible to anyone else. She starts dating Eisenberg's character just because he listens and is a nice guy. In the meantime, though, she's carrying on with the town lothario, the mechanic at the amusement park, portrayed by rising star Ryan Reynolds in a rather smallish but important role.

This one's a little tough to call, thumbsup or down. I would say Thumb's Up, but you have to get through the malaise to uncover the pain of that time in their lives. And it will be worth it.


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