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Young Adult (2011)

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Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter.

Director:

Jason Reitman

Writer:

Diablo Cody
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2,668 ( 238)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlize Theron ... Mavis Gary
Patton Oswalt ... Matt Freehauf
Patrick Wilson ... Buddy Slade
Elizabeth Reaser ... Beth Slade
Collette Wolfe ... Sandra Freehauf
Jill Eikenberry ... Hedda Gary
Richard Bekins ... David Gary
Mary Beth Hurt ... Jan
Kate Nowlin ... Mary Ellen Trantowski
Jenny Dare Paulin ... Nipple Confusion Bassist
Rebecca Hart Rebecca Hart ... Nipple Confusion Guitarist
Louisa Krause ... Front Desk Girl
Elizabeth Ward Land ... Sales Lady
Brian McElhaney ... Book Associate
Hettienne Park ... Vicki
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Storyline

Thirty-seven year old Mavis Gary seems incapable of happiness. She has had one failed marriage with no romance in her immediate horizon. She ghosts writes a young adult series of books, which has just been canceled due to low sales. She is in the process of writing the last book, with which she is having a mental block. She lives vicariously through Kendall Strickland, the teenaged female heroine in her books, as like Kendall she believes her high school years were the best years of her life when she was the prom queen. When she receives news that her high school beau, Buddy Slade, and his wife, Beth Slade, have just had their first child, Mavis takes it as a sign that she and Buddy are meant to be together. As such, she devises a false pretense to travel from her Minneapolis home back her her old hometown of Mercury, Minnesota to reclaim Buddy from Beth. As Mavis slyly or not so slyly does whatever she can to hang out with Buddy, even in Beth's company if need be, she also runs into ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everyone gets old. Not everyone grows up.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adultos jóvenes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$310,263, 11 December 2011

Gross USA:

$16,311,571

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,939,027
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When they were casting the movie, Jason Reitman asked Diablo Cody what she thought about Patton Oswalt for the role of Matt, and if the writer knew the actor's work. Cody replied deadpan: "Are you serious?" This, of course, because Oswalt was a semi-regular actor on Cody's television show, United States of Tara (2009). See more »

Goofs

The morning after Mavis' first night home she is walking down the street in a dark shirt, zipper hoodie, and jeans and is carrying a diet coke bottle. The next scene shows her sitting on a park bench typing on her lap top wearing a striped shirt, and next to her you see a shopping bag with half of a red star visible to viewers, indicating that she went to Macy's. Then in the next scene (which is presumably the same day and same trip, as she is getting ready to see Buddy for the first time that night) she is back in her dark colored shirt while she is getting a pedicure. She doesn't wear the striped shirt and go to Macy's until the following day (the day of Beth's concert when she goes to Macy's to buy her outfit). The scenes are out of sequence. See more »

Quotes

Buddy Slade: I'm gonna grab a drink. You want a beer?
Mavis Gary: Oh, just a water.
Beth Slade: Can you get me another Summer Ale? It's fine. I'll just pump and dump after the show. Don't worry, I'm not trying to get my kid hammered.
Mavis Gary: Wow, look at that.
Beth Slade: Ah, yes. The Funquarium. Always chills her out.
[talks to the baby]
Beth Slade: Starting to get smiles.
Mavis Gary: Cute.
Beth Slade: She's like, Buddy's clone.
Mavis Gary: No, I see you in there.
[...]
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Soundtracks

What's Up?
Written by Linda Perry
Performed by 4 Non Blondes
Couresty of Interscope Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Reitman and Cody strike again
16 December 2011 | by Movie_Muse_ReviewsSee all my reviews

When Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody struck gold with "Juno" in 2007, they did so with a rare combination of contemporary wit, quirkiness and heart. Their four-year reunion in "Young Adult" won't be nearly as heralded, but it might arguably be a better film.

Although ironic when juxtaposed with its main character, a 37-year-old who hasn't gotten over her high school sweetheart, Reitman and Cody display obvious evidence of maturation. The subject and humor are decidedly darker, and the emotional energy more raw and challenging.

Charlize Theron stars as Mavis Gary, perhaps one of film's most hopelessly pathetic protagonists. Before giving the opening credit sequence its cue, Reitman puts Theron to work and paints a clear picture of spiraling drunken loneliness, reality TV and apathy toward responsibility. Appropriately, she's a young-adult fiction writer for a dwindling book series who's also a former prom queen. Theron is perfect for the role with her combination of in- concealable beauty and dramatic prowess. Mavis never becomes a caricature under her watch.

Unable to get past the fact that her high school boyfriend Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) just had a baby, Mavis flees her depressing cyclical lifestyle in Minneapolis for her home town of Mercury, Minn. with the intention of winning him back.

Mavis' delusional and deceitful quest to be a home-wrecker proves maddening through much of the film at the slow-burn pace Reitman has dictated, and it becomes obvious that at some point the bubble on her misguided journey will burst into an ugly mess. Yet despite this foreseeable direction, the climax proves stirring and not without a set of surprises.

Adding to the complexity of Mavis reclaiming her past is Matt (Patton Oswalt), a former classmate she barely noticed because they were miles apart on the social spectrum. The two bond over their appreciation for (or dependency on) bourbon, and their relationship allows Theron's character a chance to blow off steam, albeit irresponsibly.

Mavis eventually remembers Matt as the "hate crime kid" because he was brutally beaten to the point of being disabled in high school at the hands of some jocks who thought he was gay. He serves as a strong comparison point for Mavis' high school experience throughout the film. Oswalt's wit also matches well with Cody's style and Matt actually turns into one of the better depictions of a disabled character probably ever. Other than the incident that caused it, we're not asked to sympathize excessively with his condition, nor do Mavis' snarky remarks about it come across as rude.

Cody's dialogue is much more restrained this time around; "Juno" is eons funnier as a result, but the sacrifice of laughs allows us to focus on the film as a character study of a woman who hasn't quite learned how to be an adult. The script's only deficiency comes from a crater- sized hole in Mavis' history. "Young Adult" deserves praise for being a film about living in the past that contains not a single flashback, but knowing more about Mavis' divorce and how she came to break up with Buddy the first time could have significantly informed the story, especially as to why Mavis willfully lives her life as the trainwreck it clearly is.

The film's climax helps a bit in this regard, and Mavis' epiphany avoids being cliché despite the obvious "appreciate what you have" motif. Part of the message oddly suggests that small- town folks lead purposeless lives for the sake of achieving some kind of blissful stasis, but at the same time the idea that all of us are broken people that need to affirm and trudge forward — not backward — with our various blemishes, will surely resonate.

~Steven C

Visit my site! moviemusereviews.com


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