Young Adult

Young Adult

Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature who returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart. When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate who hasn’t quite gotten over high school, either. 3.6 out of 5 based on 16 reviews
Young Adult

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Comedy, Drama
Director Jason Reitman
Cast Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt, J.K. Simmons, Elizabeth Reaser Charlize Theron
Studio Paramount Pictures UK
Release Date February 2012
Running Time 110 mins
 

Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature who returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart. When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate who hasn’t quite gotten over high school, either.

Reviews

Empire Magazine

Angie Errigo

Theron’s face is an encyclopaedia of trapped-in-dolescence reactions, from giddy rapture to the “who just passed gas?” grimace of distaste ... It’s a performance that easily could have been pathetic, bathetic or simply annoying, but Theron is so unbridled and yet so perfectly nuanced — and Reitman’s direction so direct and so tightly calibrated between the blackly comic and the seriously sad — you can’t have enough of her. At a safe remove.

30/01/2012

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The Evening Standard

The Evening Standard

Here is a film that could have been awful but is so carefully nuanced that it is one of the most satisfying of the year.

03/02/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Cody delivers a stinging repudiation of that sentimental piety that is also Hollywood's biggest and most fatuous lie: that home is always best, and monochrome Kansas is better than dazzling, multi-colour Oz. Hollywood was, of course, built by people who couldn't wait to leave home. For all her delusions, Mavis has an icily clear and non-PC grasp of what nonsense this "home's best" line is. She is one of the least sympathetic heroines imaginable, and one of the funniest.

02/02/2012

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

The established codes of modern movie comedy are scrambled and subverted in ways that are puzzling, amusing, horrifying and ultimately astonishing.

08/12/2011

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

Mavis Gary, is the sort of disreputable, unlikeable soul who could be seriously off-putting if mishandled. Instead, as played by a note-perfect Charlize Theron, she’s bitingly funny, tragic and, in her own twisted and deluded way, oddly inspiring – making her by far the most fascinating and complicated lead character in any movie out there right now. That’s due in part to the absolute mastery of tone exhibited in the film.

02/02/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

It’s a hugely satisfying case of right actress, right role, and the dividends are only compounded by the presence of the right director.

03/02/2012

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Time Out

Cath Clarke

Don’t go expecting another happy, warm hug of a movie: this is much less of a charmer, trailing a juicy waft of sourness behind it.

30/01/2012

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The Times

Wendy Ide

Theron is impressive as the self-absorbed and thoroughly unlikeable central character in a script of such elaborate and meticulous cruelty that it’s like watching someone slowly pulling the legs off a spider.

03/02/2012

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Total Film

Neil Smith

Harpies tend to be sidelined in movies, so the fact that Young Adult snubs that prim template is reason enough to check it out.

30/01/2012

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The Los Angeles Times

Betsy Sharkey

Though this is very unlike "Juno," the film does share the distinctive voice of its writer. In Mavis, Cody is giving us another unexpected sort of female protagonist. Her great fondness for flaws makes it possible for us to empathize with the appalling, to savor the humor in the foibles. As a filmmaker, Reitman proves to be a very good counterbalance, the right mitigating factor for this particular mess.

09/12/2011

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The Independent on Sunday

Jonathan Romney

You don't often find such cruel incisiveness in American mainstream comedy, and Young Adult elicits a squirm-inducing discomfort that you more often associate with Mike Leigh or Todd Solondz ... If ever a film lived up to the Seinfeld motto of "No lessons, no hugs", this is it.

05/02/2012

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Time Magazine

Richard Corliss

Whether Mavis is Cody’s vision of her teen self or a portrait of the bitch-goddesses she knew way back when, Young Adult packs some ornery truths about compromise as the key to an arrested adolescent’s survival as an adult. In a thorny role, Theron is splendid; she instinctively reveals everything Mavis doesn’t know about herself and offers an intimate peek into a wayward soul.

08/12/2011

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

It surprises by not having an ending, just pulling up bafflingly short by at least two or three big scenes. I kept wishing it hadn't, because Cody's writing is super-sharp and the comic sparring between Theron and Oswalt is engagingly nasty. But there you have it, a brilliant first hour, and then a hopeless fizzle.

03/02/2012

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Theron has too much baleful pulchritude: she is like a Greek goddess descending from Olympus to slum it in a twisted rom-com. Sometimes she does the most with the least. “Adorable” she says of the baby, with a steely parting of teeth that could pass in another world for a smile. More often, like the film, she is enigmatic to the point of spookiness.

02/02/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

At first it's funny and superior as Mavis patronises her despised Hicksville roots and prepares herself for conquest. It modulates into funny and embarrassing, before it becomes unadulterated embarrassment verging on the deeply sad and even tragic.

05/02/2012

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

Wonderfully performed by Theron and Oswalt, but you wonder why they are bothering. The only joke, obvious from the opening frames, is that our heroine is a cold-hearted, scheming sociopath with an unwarranted superiority complex.

03/02/2012

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