Young Adult tells the story of an emotionally stunted 37-year-old woman who returns to her hometown in order to win back the love of her life. Unfortunately, there are several problems. First, she is stuck in the past while everyone else has moved on. Second, she’s a narcissistic bitch that everybody hates. And third, the man of her dreams is already married and is not the slightest bit interested in her.
Charlize Theron plays the ghost-writer of a popular book series aimed at high-schoolers. The series has reached its end, and she is bumbling through life with no idea what to do next. She winds up back in her small hometown. She meets a few people she used to know, but we quickly learn she has no friends. She has no friends because she was a total bitch in high school. Her bitchiness has remained the same. Her development has arrested at the young adult period of her life. Theron’s character is also a raging alcoholic, either drunk or hung over in every scene of the film. She is completely delusional in her belief that she can win her old flame back.
Theron shares a significant amount of screen time with Patton Oswalt, who plays a guy who was nearly beaten to death as a teenager. Despite resistance on both ends, the two of them reconnect in a way. He’s funny and charming, and provides a nice balance to Theron’s completely self-centered character. Fortunately, they don’t reconnect in the usual, cliche Hollywood fashion.
The best part of this movie is its realism. It shows that people who were cool in high school usually grow up to be losers. Those people live in a fantasy world, thinking they are still the shit, while everyone else has learned otherwise. In the end, Theron’s character shows little to no growth. Young Adult is an interesting character study. Not much really happens, but it is completely mesmerizing to watch. It has drama, laughs, and a few uncomfortable scenes, too. Even though it was written by Diablo Cody, this movie stands miles above her usual dreck. You should check it out.
This movie begins with the words: “Inspired by a True Story.”
Gee, I wonder which parts of the story were true? I’d bet they were:
- Two cars ripping a bad guy in half.
- Josh Brolin using a moving elevator to sever a guy’s hand.
- Throwing grenades back and forth between two moving cars.
- Sean Penn saying “You know the drill” and then killing a guy with a drill.
- Babygoose talking in a weird, high-pitched voice.
- Faking out the audience to think Josh Brolin’s family is dead, but SURPRISE they are fine. DERP!
- The squad trying to take down Sean Penn’s operation but doing so without any kind of plan.
- The squad (remember, this is the 1940s) being racially diverse.
- Babygoose going after jail bait Emma Stone.
- Babygoose dumping acid on a bad guy’s crotch.
- Josh Brolin throwing away his gun so he can fight Sean Penn hand-to-hand.
- Sean Penn pretending to know how to fight.
- Nick Nolte croaking his lines like a bullfrog.
Gangster Squad has to be the most accurate movie “inspired by a true story” of all time. Man, oh man, I love movies that are based on true stories. Usually, only one aspect of the movie is true and everything else is made up. Fortunately, I can say without hesitation that Gangster Squad doesn’t have this problem. There is no doubt in my mind that this movie is 100% historically accurate. I would like to use this opportunity to thank The Gangster Squad for cleaning up L.A. for good. Thanks to their efforts, it is a clean, prosperous metropolis without gangs, drugs, or crime of any kind.