Young Adult (Reitman, 2011)

This review contains spoilers.

Young Adult (Jason Reitman, 2011)

A solidly written and performed mid-life, small-town drama. Theron’s character is pathetic but remarkably easy to sympathize with (even before her final, past-revealing meltdown). She and Oswalt make a nice combination of cynical loudmouths – able to relieve their frustrations venting to one another. Though, the un-normalcy of the normal characters in this film might be just as important as Theron and Oswalt’s broken characters. On the surface, her ex-boyfriend and his family are presented as perfect little model citizens who have no issues. But there are small hints that these people are also dealing with things, whether Diablo Cody intended this or not. (Who sends a birth announcement to an ex-girlfriend who endured the trauma of miscarrying this man’s baby?) The film loses me slightly in the final scene where, in attempt to avoid a formulaic ‘things are going to change’ conclusion, it overcompensates in the other direction. Yes, it’s humorous, but feels very intentional and forced. For the most part, though, these people are rich and complex, and interesting to watch.  7.75/10

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