Young Adult (2011) Poster

Young Adult (2011)

  • Rate: 6.8/10 total 16,414 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama
  • Release Date: 16 December 2011 (USA)
  • Runtime: 94 min
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Young Adult (2011)


Young Adult 2011tt1625346.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Young Adult (2011)
  • Rate: 6.8/10 total 16,414 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama
  • Release Date: 16 December 2011 (USA)
  • Runtime: 94 min
  • Filming Location: 111 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  • Budget: $12,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $16,300,302(USA)(19 February 2012)
  • Director: Jason Reitman
  • Stars: Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson and Patton Oswalt
  • Original Music By: Rolfe Kent   
  • Soundtrack: Achin' To Be
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital | DTS (as Datasat Digital Sound) | SDDS
  • Plot Keyword: Minnesota | Baby | Small Town | Divorce | Beating

Writing Credits By:

  • Diablo Cody (written by)

Known Trivia

  • Josh Brolin was rumored to star in the movie.
  • Portions of the film taking place in the Midwest were filmed outside Churchill Apartments in downtown Minneapolis.
  • On October 19, 2011, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody hosted a “sneak preview” of this movie at the Edina Theater in suburban Minneapolis.
  • In the film, Mavis (Charlize Theron) drives a Mini Cooper identical to the one Stella Bridger (also played by Charlize) drives during the climactic heist in The Italian Job.
  • On October 18, 2011, George Stroumboulopoulos, along with director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody, hosted the first public screening/”sneak peek” of the film at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. The screening was followed by a brief Q&A session for attendees with Reitman and Cody. The screening was promoted as a secret with nothing about the film revealed. Comedic trailers also played on The Hour.
  • Though set in Minnesota, the scene in and around the bar “Woody’s” was filmed in Massapequa Park on Long Island, New York.
  • During a scene where Mavis (Charlize Theron) browses in a clothing store, an assistant offers to help, and Mavis asks if they have anything by Marc Jacobs. Theron is, in reality, a big fan of the New York designer’s line of fashion.
  • Mavis’ drink of choice is a Maker’s Mark. In Juno, also directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, when Vanessa offers drinks, Juno asks for a Maker’s Mark up.

Goofs: Errors in geography: The highway signs (I-35, I-535 & US Hwy 53) outside the Hampton Inn that Mavis checks into would seem to place Mercury, MN in the Duluth area, but the strip mall next door features a Chuck E. Cheese's, Raymour & Flanigan Furniture, and Liquid Ice. The nearest Chuck E. Cheese's are several hours away in the Minneapolis area. Raymour & Flanigan and Liquid Ice are chains only found in the Northeastern US (PA, NY, New England), and a highway sign seen after the interstate signs at the hotel is a New York State Route 35 sign supports that.

Plot: 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. Full summary »  »

Story: Mavis Gary, once the high school 'It Girl', now an alcoholic divorcee who writes a soon to be canceled young adult fiction series, takes the decision to return to her childhood home in Minnesota. There she embarks on a plan to win back her former sweetheart, Buddy. The fact that Buddy is now married with a baby doesn't dissuade her. Along the way, she forms a bond with Matt Freehauf, another former classmate, who has been left disabled by a beating he took from a bunch of jocks.Written by Anonymous  


Synopsis: In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the self-absorbed Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) is the divorced, 37-year-old ghost writer of the Waverly Prep series of young adult novels, who is on deadline with her editor to finish the last book of the soon-to-be-canceled series. While experiencing a creative block, Mavis receives an e-mail with pictures of the newborn daughter of her high school boyfriend Buddy Slade and his wife Beth Slade. Believing this to be a sign she and Buddy are meant to be together, Mavis returns to her hometown of Mercury, Minnesota, to reclaim her life with Buddy, under the pretext she is overseeing a real estate deal.

Upon arriving after multiple listens to Teenage Fanclub off a mixtape Buddy gave her in high school, Mavis invites him to meet her at a local sports bar for old times’ sake the next day. In the interim, she goes alone to a different bar, Woody’s. There she reconnects with a former classmate she barely remembers, Matt Freehauf, who became disabled after being beaten by jocks who erroneously assumed he was gay. Matt tells Mavis that her plans to destroy Buddy’s marriage are insane, but Mavis ignores him.

The following day, Mavis meets Buddy at the sports bar, where they run into Matt, the bar’s bookkeeper, who teases Mavis about her plans. On their way out, Buddy invites Mavis to a presentation of drummer Beth’s "mom rock band", and asks her to autograph some of her books for Buddy’s niece. Mavis agrees, and, after spending another night getting drunk with Matt, who distills homemade bourbon in the garage of the house he shares with his sister Sandra, attends the concert, where the other moms are resentful of what one remembers as the "psychotic prom queen bitch."

Buddy becomes uncomfortable with Mavis’ advances and decides to leave. Beth wants to extend her girls’ night out, however, so Mavis offers to drive the drunk Buddy home. On the lawn they share a kiss that’s quickly broken up when the babysitter opens the front door to greet them. The next day, after an awkward encounter with her parents, Mavis is invited to Buddy’s daughter’s naming ceremony. She goes out with Matt again to Woody’s, where they continue to bond and later bicker. The following day, Mavis attends the party, where she declares her love for Buddy, but he rebuffs her. Distraught, Mavis attempts to leave and runs into Beth, who accidentally spills wine on Mavis’ dress. Mavis insults her, and tearfully reveals that she got pregnant with Buddy’s baby years ago, but had a miscarriage after three months.

Buddy, who has been preparing a drum-set gift for Beth in the garage, opens the garage door and belatedly learns what’s transpired. Mavis asks him why he invited her. He reveals it was Beth’s idea, as she feels sorry for Mavis. Humiliated, Mavis leaves the party and visits Matt, where she breaks down in tears and initiates sex. On the following morning, while Matt sleeps, Mavis has coffee in the kitchen with Sandra, who tells Mavis she’s better than the rest of Mercury. Mavis realizes she needs to go back to the city. Sandra asks to go with her, but Mavis rebuffs her and leaves alone.

On her way out, she is able to write the last chapter of the book, in which the main character, much like Mavis, realizes the true meaning of being an adult, and both prepare to start their lives anew.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Brian Bell known as line producer
  • Jason Blumenfeld known as associate producer (as Jason A. Blumenfeld)
  • Diablo Cody known as producer
  • Helen Estabrook known as executive producer
  • Lianne Halfon known as producer
  • Nathan Kahane known as executive producer
  • Beth Kono known as co-producer
  • Kelli Konop known as co-producer
  • Mary Lee known as co-producer
  • John Malkovich known as executive producer
  • Mason Novick known as producer
  • Steven M. Rales known as executive producer (as Steven Rales)
  • Jason Reitman known as producer
  • Russell Smith known as producer
  • Charlize Theron known as producer (uncredited)

FullCast & Crew:

  • Charlize Theron known as Mavis Gary
  • Patton Oswalt known as Matt Freehauf
  • Patrick Wilson known as Buddy Slade
  • Elizabeth Reaser known as Beth Slade
  • Collette Wolfe known as Sandra Freehauf
  • Jill Eikenberry known as Hedda Gary
  • Richard Bekins known as David Gary
  • Mary Beth Hurt known as Jan
  • Kate Nowlin known as Mary Ellen Trantowski
  • Jenny Dare Paulin known as Nipple Confusion Bassist
  • Rebecca Hart known as Nipple Confusion Guitarist
  • Louisa Krause known as Front Desk Girl
  • Elizabeth Ward Land known as Sales Lady
  • Brian McElhaney known as Book Associate
  • Hettienne Park known as Vicki
  • John Forest known as Wheelchair Mike
  • Rightor Doyle known as Babysitter
  • Brady Smith known as Date Man
  • Timothy Young known as Champions Server
  • Erin Darke known as Teen Employee
  • Jee Young Han known as Teen Employee
  • Ella Rae Peck known as Girl
  • Aleisha Allen known as Girl (as Aleisha Lanae Allen)
  • Matt Wilson known as Teenage Clerk
  • Orlagh Cassidy known as Party Guest
  • Charles Techman known as Parking Attendant
  • Emily Meade known as Denny's Waitress
  • Neil Hellegers known as Young Dad
  • Michael Nathanson known as Champions Greeter
  • Landyn Banx known as Business Person (uncredited)
  • Julie E. Davis known as Shopper (uncredited)
  • Fredrika Dukes known as Business Person (uncredited)
  • Devon A Early known as Denny's Customer (uncredited)
  • John Edel known as Businessman in Skyway (uncredited)
  • Kirsten Gregerson known as Business Person (uncredited)
  • J.K. Simmons known as Mavis's Publisher (uncredited)
  • Joel Thingvall known as Businessman in Skyway (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Mary Aaron known as key makeup artist (as Mary R. Aaron)
  • Deanna Johnson known as hair assistant: Minneapolis (as Deanna L. Johnson)
  • Maureen Landa known as makeup assistant: Minneapolis (as Maureen Landa McGavin)
  • Mandy Lyons known as hair department head
  • Mia Neal known as key hair stylist (as Mia M. Neal)
  • Nuria Sitja known as makeup department head
  • Jonathan Gording known as contact lenses: special (uncredited)

Art Department:

  • Michael Boucher known as set dresser
  • Peter Bundrick known as key carpenter
  • Terrence Burke known as construction grip
  • James Dewolf known as construction grip (as Jim DeWolf)
  • Daniel Dietrich known as carpenter (as Dan Dietrich)
  • Faith Farrell known as scenic artist: Minneapolis
  • Glenn Gatti known as on-set dresser
  • Alex Gorodetsky known as charge scenic (as Alexander Gorodetsky)
  • Sandy Hamilton known as property master
  • Richard Hebrank known as construction coordinator (as Rich Hebrank)
  • Colby Ippoliti known as set dresser
  • Dan-ah Kim known as assistant art director
  • Joe Kupillas known as carpenter (as Joseph Kupillas)
  • Michael Leather known as leadperson
  • Hank Liebeskind known as set dresser
  • Eugene Melvin known as on-set dresser (as Eugene Melvin Jr.)
  • Michael Miller known as key construction grip (as Mike Miller)
  • Leann Murphy known as art department coordinator
  • Bruce J. Paquette known as carpenter (as Bruce Paquette)
  • Susan Perlman known as buyer
  • Vinny Perrella known as scenic industrial (as Vincent J. Perrella III)
  • Nicole Scoppa known as set dresser
  • Theo Sena known as on-set dresser
  • Lee Shevett known as construction grip
  • Sha-Sha Shiau known as art department coordinator
  • Brian J. Simpson known as set dresser: Minneapolis (as Brian Simpson)
  • William Smith known as set dresser
  • Gary Sommers known as set dresser
  • Ryan Tallant known as on-set dresser: Minneapolis
  • Susan Tatom known as set decorating coordinator
  • Chris Thickins known as set dresser: Minneapolis (as Chris Thickens)
  • Billy Vann known as construction grip
  • James Wassmann known as carpenter
  • Joel Weaver known as assistant property master
  • Mark Wojahn known as leadperson: Minneapolis
  • Gary Surber known as set dresser (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Paramount Pictures (presents)
  • Denver and Delilah Productions
  • Indian Paintbrush
  • Mandate Pictures
  • Mr. Mudd
  • Right of Way Films

Other Companies:

  • ARRI / Camera Service Center  camera equipment provided by
  • B.A. Department, The  production business and legal services
  • Cathay Bank  production financing
  • City National Bank  production financing
  • Comerica Bank of California  production financing (as Comerica Bank)
  • Digital Media Services (DMS)  digital marketing asset management
  • Digital Media Services (DMS)  on-line promotional material creation
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • EarCandy  sound post-production
  • Entertainment Clearances  rights and clearances
  • Film Finances  completion bond
  • JC Studios Brooklyn  stage facilities
  • JP Morgan Chase Bank  production financing
  • Loopers Unlimited  adr voice casting
  • Marshall/Plumb Research Associates  script clearance research
  • Momentous Insurance Brokerage  insurance services
  • National Association  production financing
  • Post Factory NY  Avids (as Post Factory New York)
  • Post Factory NY  post-production facilities
  • PrimaLux Video  epk services
  • Sound One  sound re-recording facility
  • Trevanna Post  post-production accounting
  • Tribe Road Catering  catering
  • U.S. Bank National Association  production financing
  • Union Bank  production financing
  • Wells Fargo Bank  production financing


  • Bontonfilm (2012) (Czech Republic) (theatrical) (subtitled)
  • Paramount Japan (2012) (Japan) (theatrical) (as Paramount Pictures Japan)
  • Paramount Pictures Entertainment (2011) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Paramount Pictures (2012) (Australia) (theatrical)
  • Paramount Pictures (2012) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Paramount Pictures (2012) (France) (theatrical)
  • Paramount Pictures (2011) (USA) (theatrical)
  • United International Pictures (UIP) (2012) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • United International Pictures (UIP) (2012) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Zon Lusomundo Audiovisuais (2012) (Portugal) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Phosphene (visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Peter Amante known as lead digital compositor: Phosphene
  • John Bair known as visual effects supervisor: Phosphene
  • Vivian Connolly known as visual effects producer: Phosphene
  • Constance Conrad known as digital compositor: Phosphene
  • Chris MacKenzie known as smoke artist: Deluxe New York
  • Thomas Panayiotou known as digital compositor: Phosphene
  • Aaron Raff known as lead digital compositor: Phosphene
  • Ariela Rotenberg known as visual effects assistant producer: Phosphene
  • Scott Winston known as lead digital compositor: Phosphene
  • Andrew Yates known as digital compositor: Phosphene
  • Kevin Quinlan known as visual effects artist (uncredited)
  • Mark Wilhelm known as digital compositor (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • USA 9 December 2011 (limited)
  • Canada 16 December 2011
  • USA 16 December 2011
  • Australia 19 January 2012
  • Kazakhstan 19 January 2012
  • Lebanon 19 January 2012
  • Russia 19 January 2012
  • Germany February 2012 (Berlin International Film Festival)
  • Portugal 2 February 2012
  • Ireland 3 February 2012
  • UK 3 February 2012
  • Denmark 16 February 2012
  • Norway 17 February 2012
  • Poland 17 February 2012
  • Spain 17 February 2012
  • Germany 23 February 2012
  • Hong Kong 23 February 2012
  • Japan 25 February 2012
  • Kuwait 1 March 2012
  • Netherlands 1 March 2012
  • Czech Republic 8 March 2012
  • Italy 9 March 2012
  • Belgium 28 March 2012
  • France 28 March 2012
  • Turkey 30 March 2012
  • Brazil 6 April 2012
  • Finland 13 April 2012

MPAA: Rated R for language and some sexual content



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 29, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .


  1. Ed Uyeshima from San Francisco, CA, USA
    29 Mar 2012, 5:49 pm

    Without an iota of irony, Charlize Theron finally uses her intimidatingbeauty for pure Machiavellian evil, and the results are fortuitous inthis dark-hued 2011 comedy, the latest collaboration of director JasonReitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody ("Juno"). She's absolutely spot-onterrific playing Mavis Gary, the condescending, hateful high schoolgirl who comes back to Mercury, her podunk hometown nearly two decadeslater. Mavis is no Blanche Dubois-type character whose ladylike beautyhas faded into a gauzy romantic delusion. No, Mavis is still one hotbabe and very much the complete narcissist she was as a teenager,emotionally stunted despite her relative worldliness having moved toMinneapolis to become a ghostwriter of a series of teen novels.

    It's not surprising she finds success writing for an adolescentaudience since she still defines her life with teenage-level prioritiesand fantasies. As she has proved with "Juno", Cody is thoroughly fluentwith this perspective, but the twist is that this time, it's comingfrom a jaded 37-year-old woman. Even though Mavis is a divorcée wholives in a high-rise apartment with a toy dog and can easily get anyman she wants, she is triggered by a birth announcement email shereceives from her high school sweetheart Buddy Slade and becomesfixated on getting him back all these years later. It doesn't matterthat he's happily married and perfectly content living in Mercury. Sheconcocts a scheme to make herself so alluring that he will want to runaway with her. Normally, this would be an excuse for broad comedymachinations, but Theron is so gorgeous that it makes her shamelessattempts at seduction all the more edgily desperate.

    It's a narrowly developed plot for sure, but surprisingly, whatenriches the proceedings is the unexpected relationship Mavis developswith Matt Freehauf, a sad-sack former classmate whose sole claim tonotoriety was being the victim of a hate crime when he was beaten upand left for dead by a group of jocks who assumed he was gay. He hasbeen left crippled, living in Mercury with his sister making his ownhome-brewed bourbon and putting together mix-and-match action figures.That Mavis and Matt connect is all the more intriguing since they wereat opposite ends of the social spectrum back in school, and theirpresent-day bond is also fueled by her obvious alcoholism, a point thatis overlooked by her befuddled parents who wish to think of Mavis asthe flawless pretty daughter of their own deluded fantasies. The storyevolves in the direction you would expect but not before certainrevelations come to light in a tortuous scene at the baby-naming partyBuddy and his sensible wife Beth have with all their relatives andclose friends in attendance.

    Beyond Theron's fearless work and intentionally deadpan line delivery,there is comedian Patton Oswalt's surprisingly affecting performance asMatt. I only know him from his recurring role as a comical sad-sack onthe sitcom "King of Queens", so it's surprising to see the amount oftexture he brings to this role. As Buddy, Patrick Wilson once againplays the sought-after himbo, but this time, his character's unshaven,small-town modesty comes across as more contrite with his character'sfeelings toward Mavis left quite elliptical. Elizabeth Reaser ("SweetLand") isn't given that much to do as Beth, probably by intention, butCollette Wolf has a few impactful moments as Matt's insulated sisterstill idolizing Mavis after all these years. As he showed with "Juno"and "Up in the Air", Reitman shows a deft hand with actors playingflawed characters who try to manipulate their circumstances but fallshort of their vaunted expectations.

  2. ( from Canada
    29 Mar 2012, 5:49 pm

    Going in, I didn't know what to expect, I knew the main Character wasgoing to be pathetic but I didn't know just how pathetic.

    Mavis lived the high school dream, beautiful, popular, dating the highschool dream boat. At the beginning of the movie she wakes up to anemail, finding out her high school boyfriend is now married with a newborn. Looking at her life she finds herself hungover, divorced, andtrying to maintain her dying career as a Ghost writer for a "YoungAdult" series.

    After finding out Buddy is now a father, she packs up and goes to herhome town to spark the old flame between the two, believing they willlive happily ever after, because of course, "True love conquers all."

    Watching is almost painful, as you see her try to weasel her way backin to his life. The audience starts to hate her, she's selfish,immature, and most importantly pathetic.

    On her quest to win back Buddy, she meets meets Matt, an old class matewho was a victim of a hate crime in Highschool leaving him partiallydisabled. Matt tries to convince her what she's doing is ridiculous,and see's her for what she really is, crazy. Still he stays along forthe ride and the two meet up for nightly alcoholic binges. Though Maviswas the popular girl and Matt was the "Homosexual" geek in their pastlives, they find themselves being two alone people, together.

    Later in the film, while everything starts to fall apart for Mavis,things start to fall together for the audience. Throughout the film,you hate the character for her stupidity and selfishness, but as thingscome to light, you begin to understand what has happened, and can'thelp but to feel sorry for her. You realize she really is a sad,unstable, broken, "Girl." Apart of me didn't want to feel sorry forher, she was the high school prom queen, the cheerleader, the girl whohad everything growing up. But what she didn't have was maturity andsanity, no life to call her own except for the life she once had, whenshe was quote "at her best." While everyone else was "effortlesslyhappy."

    There is no moral to the story, and if there is, it's not a very goodone. You can't simply rip apart everyones life, not to pick up thepieces after, but that's what's so believable about it, that's exactlywhat someone like Mavis would have done. Life doesn't always have amoral. Though there were parts that were hilarious, I wouldn't considerthis a Comedy by far. The only words I can use to describe this filmare: Depressing, Uncomfortable, and most of all, Dark.

    Diablo Cody did it again, creating characters who are bizarre and fullof personality, yet convincing and believable, with a brilliant cast tomatch. I cannot think of anyone who could have perfected the charactersbetter then Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt. They were spot on, and Iwon't be surprised if both are nominated for Best Leading Actress andBest Supporting Actor.

    Over all, I really enjoyed it, giving it 7/10. I loved the characters,the acting, the script, the awkwardness as you cringe while watching.But for those of you who are expecting a Comedy or some happily everafter story, you will be leaving the theatre disappointed.

  3. David Ferguson ( from Dallas, Texas
    29 Mar 2012, 5:49 pm

    Greetings again from the darkness. Writer Diablo Cody and DirectorJason Reitman reunite for the first time since their breakout hit"Juno". In that fine film, we were treated to many optimistic andsarcastic life lessons from a very likable, and easy to cheer for,teenage girl. This time around we get the caustic, childlikeself-centeredness of a mid-30's alcoholic sadly trying to recapture themagic of her high school years as the prom queen dating the coolestguy.

    Ms. Cody and Mr. Reitman deserve much credit for steering clear of theHollywood traditions of redemption, remorse, and turning over a newleaf. In fact, we probably dislike Mavis (Charlize Theron) even more asthe movie ends than we did in the film's first 5 minutes, if that'seven possible. It takes courage as a filmmaker to have a lead characterwho is disliked through the entire movie, not just by the people in herlife, but also by the audience. It also takes a special actress to pullthis off. If you saw Theron in her Oscar winning role in "Monster",believe me when I say that she is equally unsympathetic here … thoughshe does commit fewer actual crimes.

    This film is erroneously marketed as a smart comedy. While there aresome funny elements, it's difficult to find much humor in someone whois so unstable and narcissistic. Wisely, the script provides us withMatt (Patton Oswalt) as the voice of reason. He sees through the Mavismask and speaks directly in his attempts to divert her from her plan.That plan is to break up the marriage of her high school sweetheart(Patrick Wilson). Oh yeah, he just happens to be happily married(Elizabeth Reaser) with a newborn baby.

    The best scenes of the film are between Mavis and Matt. She isoblivious to her negative effect on others, while he shoots herstraight while avoiding his own harsh reality. See, Matt was the victimof a vicious hate crime, which left his leg (and other things) mangled.His own view of life is why he can see right through Mavis and herissues. While I so admire the basis of the script, I just believe thereis a missing element. The element of hope and optimism. Heck, even whenMavis admits she "might be an alcoholic", her parents shrug it off andchange topics. Sometimes crying out for help just isn't enough.

    The film is worth seeing for the performances of Theron and Oswalt, aswell as for the unique script. Just don't get tricked into believingit's some laugh riot with a fairy tale ending. Mavis is a ghost writerfor teen novels, and she writes the latest as she lives this nightmareof a trip back home. My only real question … is she mature enough towrite for teens?

  4. Movie_Muse_Reviews from IL, USA
    29 Mar 2012, 5:49 pm

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

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

    Charlize Theron stars as Mavis Gary, perhaps one of film's mosthopelessly pathetic protagonists. Before giving the opening creditsequence its cue, Reitman puts Theron to work and paints a clearpicture of spiraling drunken loneliness, reality TV and apathy towardresponsibility. Appropriately, she's a young-adult fiction writer for adwindling book series who's also a former prom queen. Theron is perfectfor the role with her combination of in- concealable beauty anddramatic 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 cyclicallifestyle in Minneapolis for her home town of Mercury, Minn. with theintention of winning him back.

    Mavis' delusional and deceitful quest to be a home-wrecker provesmaddening through much of the film at the slow-burn pace Reitman hasdictated, and it becomes obvious that at some point the bubble on hermisguided journey will burst into an ugly mess. Yet despite thisforeseeable direction, the climax proves stirring and not without a setof surprises.

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

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

    Cody's dialogue is much more restrained this time around; "Juno" iseons funnier as a result, but the sacrifice of laughs allows us tofocus on the film as a character study of a woman who hasn't quitelearned how to be an adult. The script's only deficiency comes from acrater- sized hole in Mavis' history. "Young Adult" deserves praise forbeing a film about living in the past that contains not a singleflashback, but knowing more about Mavis' divorce and how she came tobreak up with Buddy the first time could have significantly informedthe story, especially as to why Mavis willfully lives her life as thetrainwreck it clearly is.

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

    ~Steven C

    Visit my site!

  5. Chris_Pandolfi from Los Angeles, CA
    29 Mar 2012, 5:49 pm

    Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) makes a living ghostwriting novels gearedtowards the tween crowd. They call this Young Adult Fiction – YA inpublisher's lingo. The books are part of a series created by anotherauthor. They were at one time incredibly popular. Now, the series hasbeen cancelled. The book she's currently writing will be the finalinstallment. Although she gets by financially, she does not live theglamorous life of a successful author. She lives alone in an unkemptMinneapolis apartment with her dog, an adorable Pomeranian, who shecarries around yet doesn't seem to love unconditionally. One day, whilerummaging through her e-mails, she comes across one sent by her highschool sweetheart, who still lives in their small hometown, is nowhappily married, and has recently had a baby girl.

    Mavis decides to return to her hometown and reclaim her lost love. Hisname is Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson). It doesn't matter that he hastaken his vows, and it matters even less that he's raising a daughter.She knows he isn't happy. How can anyone be happy living in a smallhick town, despite the fact that it has expanded to include a KFC, aTaco Bell, and a Pizza Hut (all put under the same roof)? Sheunderstands that he has baggage, but she's willing to work through itwith him. This has to work out, because in her mind, they were alwaysmeant to be together. Clearly, reality has not caught up with thiswoman. Emotionally, she was stunted as a teenager; to this day, shewakes up every morning with a hangover. She lives in a fantasy world inwhich love conquers all, as demonstrated by films like "The Graduate."

    Jason Reitman's "Young Adult" was written by Diablo Cody, who,following "Juno" and "Jennifer's Body," shows yet again her affinityfor adolescent characters in interesting situations. What makes thisparticular film noteworthy is that the adolescent is a woman in herthirties. On the basis of her binge drinking and stubborn refusal tolet go of the past, Mavis has absolutely no desire to grow up. Hers isa world of impossible ideals. When she finally reunites with Buddy,it's at a Chili's-type restaurant; she would have preferred the barthey used to hang out at, but he's a father now, and he has to be homeby a certain time. She makes herself so alluring that she looksstrikingly out of place – a slinky black dress with a low neckline,fancy jewelry, a neat manicure and pedicure, perfectly applied makeup,an attractive 'do enhanced by a hairpiece.

    Buddy seems pleased to see Mavis, although there's no real indicationthat he's interested in running away with her to the city. He's asimple, small-town guy living a simple, small-town life. He loves hiswife, Beth (Elizabeth Reaser), the drummer for a local girl band. He'sdevoted to his daughter. Why can't Mavis see that he's happy as he is?Keeping tabs over the situation is Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt), whonot only attended the same high school as Mavis but also had the lockerdirectly next to hers. He now works as an accountant for therestaurant. She doesn't remember him until she sees him walking with acrutch; while still a teenager, he was beaten by gang of bullies whothought he was gay. It was considered a hate crime until he wasdiscovered to be straight. It wasn't a mere schoolyard scuffle. His legwas shattered, and his penis was permanently damaged. He ended upmissing six months of school.

    Matt is in some ways just as stunted as Mavis. He lives with hissister, and he spends most of his time painting action figures. Hebrews his own bourbon in his garage, naming the label after the MosEisley spaceport in "Star Wars." Back in high school, he was nevernoticed. He was, to put it bluntly, a short, fat science fiction nerd.Mavis was, of course, hugely popular. That didn't stop guys like Mattfrom noticing her. Now he's seeing her at her worst. And isn't it funnythat she's only noticing him now, when he's far from his best? He'scertainly not at his worst; that would have been when he was firstbeaten. Even then, she never gave much thought to it. When she firstspeaks with him, she refers to him only as "the hate-crime guy."

    One of the interesting things about "Young Adult" is that neither Codynor Reitman go to great lengths to make Mavis a likable character. Wedon't especially sympathize with her from the start, and by the end,we've pretty much sided against her completely. We see right throughher beauty. We might even take a little pleasure in watching it fadeover the course of just a few days. At last, she looks as miserable onthe outside as she is on the inside. Who does she think she is, cominginto town hoping to destroy a marriage and family? How has she deludedherself into believing that she's trying to do Buddy a favor? The truthis, it has absolutely nothing to do with him. At a certain point, she'sjust going to have to realize that life doesn't follow the pages of ayoung adult novel.

    — Chris Pandolfi (

  6. ldquinn from Crofton, MD, United States
    29 Mar 2012, 5:49 pm

    This is one of those films you read about and really look forward to;but, once seen, you realize that, while good, it's not quite worthy ofthe build up.

    Charlize Theron is quite good and makes the most of the script she hasto work with. As always, hers eyes, facial expression and body languageall help her bring life to the role.

    Patton Oswalt also does a star turn as a bit of conscience forCharlize's character.

    The story is well told, albeit a bit of a stretch. For someone reachingback to her past for a lost love, Charlize's character is quitebelievable; it's her long ago beau, Patrick Wilson, that's not quite upto snuff. Given that these two play off each other for a great deal ofthe film, it would be nicer to have had a better performer oppositeher.

    That said, it's worth watching, though probably a bit depressing formany viewers.

  7. jadepietro from United States
    29 Mar 2012, 5:49 pm

    This film is highly recommended.

    Finally a holiday movie comes along that dares to ask, " Can a highschool prom queen steal her happily married ex-boyfriend from his wifeand newborn child and find true love? " From the team that brought usthe classic comedy, Juno, comes the wickedly entertaining, and to some,offensive Young Adult.

    Directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, this dark comedyexplores the aspirations of a beautiful, vain, and selfish woman as sheschemes to breakup a marriage and reclaim her former sweetheart, Buddy.Now divorced, Mavis Gary ( Charlize Theron ), a ghostwriter of teenliterature conveniently found in the YA section of bookstoreseverywhere, has never grown up and never had the life she felt destinedto have. ( After all, she was voted Best Hair in her high schoolyearbook! ) Her life is in ruins, an eternal victim of herself. Shedecides to return to her small hometown hoping to snare her formersweetheart ( nicely downplayed by Patrick Wilson ) and with that inmind, live some of the glories of her past life. As Mavis mentions inone scene, "Love conquers all. "Haven't you seen The Graduate? " Shelives in a fantasy world, clouded by booze.

    Giving her a reality check about her plans is a dweeb from the past,Matt Freehauf ( Patton Oswalt ), whom Mavis meets at a local bar. Shedoesn't so much rekindle their friendship as she never had time for himbefore, just not in her league back then. "Oh, you're that hate crimeguy," she says when they meet. Insensitive, yes. That's Mavis, and yes,Matt was permanently injured in a gay hate crime during his senioryear, although he wasn't gay at all. Shades of irony! ( Not thatthere's anything wrong with that, yada, yada!) Alcohol (and there'splenty in use when Mavis is around ) brings these two lost soulstogether, that and Mavis' far- fetched dreaming.

    Theron has the difficult role of making such a repulsive andmean-spirited woman, if not likable, at least, tolerable. She nevertries to ingratiate herself. Instead, she depicts a mean girl caught inthe throngs of arrested development and expects the movie audience todeal with it. Her acting choices work beautifully inside and out.Theron uses her expressive beauty and sexual allure to hide Mavis'twisted and unpleasant traits. Hopefully, this honest and compellingperformance won't turn off Academy voters due to its nasty portrayal ofits anti-heroine. It's a wonderful job of acting.

    Oswalt gives a fully dimensional comic portrait of a small town losertype with bigger dreams. He's living with his sister. He's alone. He'sMavis' conscience and he's working overtime. He's the voice of reason (and the sensible voice of the movie audience as well. ). Oswalt playshis character as an endearing slug, a man-child full of sage advice andbitter disappointment. It is a finely honed comic performance.

    Cleverly scripted, Young Adult is filled with smart one-liners thatadvance the action and are keeping with their flawed characters. Yetthe film carries with it a more serious tone, not the laugh-a-minutemovie one would suspect from the trailer. The characters and theirsituations verge on the real with the comically surreal. In anuncomfortable but pivotal scene, Mavis addresses Buddy's married lifewith consoling words and advice that " we can beat this thing together"and leave his KenTacoHut world behind. Cody's sharply observed andcynical view of small town life is imbued in her characters and may bedistasteful to some moviegoers, although I found this film quiteamusing and droll. The only objection to the film was in two of thefilm's final scenes ( which were effectively done but inaccurate to thecharacters' true motivations and actions).

    Reitman is again drawn to damaged characters in his leading roles as hehad successfully done with films like Juno and Up in the Air. He isrelentless in his ability to make such complicated people completelyfascinating as they free fall into despair. He makes their journeyfilled with ironic and satirical possibilities, making the negativepositively comic in tone.

    Young Adult resists the sweet rosy side of life. It humorously embracesthe sad fatalistic notion of our everyday existence, supplanting upbeatand unattainable desires with a refreshingly downbeat sensibility. Andthat's seems very grown-up to me. GRADE: B+

    NOTE: Visit my movie blog for more reviews:

  8. chrismsawin from United States
    29 Mar 2012, 5:49 pm

    Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody have been kind of hit or miss for me orat least that's what I like to think. I didn't enjoy Juno nearly asmuch as everyone else seemed to while Jennifer's Body, while not great,may have been better received on my end than what most give it creditfor mostly because I have such a soft spot for horror. On the otherhand though, Up in the Air was fairly fantastic all around. With thatsaid, the main thing attracting me to Young Adult was the fact thatPatton Oswalt had a rather big supporting role. Despite the fact thatCharlize Theron has done so many things since and has won an Oscar,films like The Astronaut's Wife and The Devil's Advocate only come tomind whenever she's featured in anything which isn't flattering at all.So there was kind of this sense of dread going into Young Adult, butwas it justified? The short answer is no, but it doesn't completelyblow you away either.

    There was an Entertainment Weekly article a few weeks ago where Theronsaid she aimed to not only be a mean-spirited individual, but alsoeasily relatable as well. That's the trickiest part with a characterlike this. Anyone can be cold or act black hearted, but doing thatwhile also displaying qualities that make you feel sorry for themand/or feel like something you went through in your life is somethingspecial. Imagining anyone else in this role is practically impossible,as well. The entire premise seems to be built around Theron. She seemsto be playing herself or at least a slightly exaggerated version of howshe is in real life. That more than likely contributes to the movieworking as well as it does.

    One of the other great things about the movie is that it's mostlyunexpected. Young adult fiction writer Mavis Gary (Theron) currentlylives in Minneapolis, Minnesota but decides to return to her smallhometown of Mercury after receiving an email from her high schoolboyfriend Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) welcoming his first child intothe world. Mavis somehow thinks that her and Buddy are meant to betogether and despite Buddy being happily married and having a daughterthat he loves dearly, Mavis thinks they can work past that to makethings right between them. The outcome of the events is probably prettypredictable, but the relationships in between unfold in a way that youprobably don't see coming. I'm mostly referring to Mavis and MattFreehauf's (Patton Oswalt) friendship as it goes in a direction thatfeels far too human for such a superficial individual like Mavis.Oswalt also seems to be playing an exaggerated version of himself aswell as he makes full use of his geekiness. The Pixies shirt was also anice touch. But Young Adult is mostly entertaining due to the way itfeels genuine despite revolving around somebody who is as harsh andselfish as Mavis Gray is.

    Young Adult is very dark and downright bleak at times, but that's oneof its most distinguishing traits. You'll more than likely findsomething to relate to in Mavis Gray whether it was you who was thepopular kid in school, are just as depressed as she is, think you maybe an alcoholic, or you're a writer, Mavis isn't really in the rightframe of mind and maybe that's the most relatable part of hercharacter. Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt share a kind of twistedchemistry that involves some fairly witty dialogue at times, but ismostly them dragging the other one through the mud with their words,which strangely only illustrates how miserable and similar their twocharacters are. Young Adult is a very fascinating dark comedy that islaugh out loud funny at times due to its cruelness, but shines thanksto its authenticity.

  9. nick0364 from Australia
    29 Mar 2012, 5:49 pm

    It's hard to imagine just how the producers managed to convince anyoneto back a script so irredeemably humorless, charmless and boring. Onecan only assume none of the money people actually read Diablo (Juno)Cody's screenplay – and believe it or not the direction was worseagain: long pointless shots of the principal sleeping, waking, slobbingaround her nondescript city apartment, shagging nameless strangers metonline, shuffling and scowling thru car parks and department stores inher tracky-dacks and driving thru desolate urban landscapes .

    I found myself disliking Mavis, the principal character played byCharlize Theron – from the first shot. To suggest that her flaws werein any way a matter of immaturity – 'Everyone gets old. Not everyonegrows up' – is an insult to young people and immature peopleeverywhere. Not immaturity but apathy, arrogance, a puzzling sense ofentitlement and just plain old self-centered meanness are the qualitiesthat make Mavis singularly unattractive. I won't go into the plot, aflabby and pointless variation on the girl/guy who makes good in thebig city and returns to their small town to find the one-that-got-away,other than to say that her lost love seems well aware Theron hasschlepped into the wrong movie, giving Mavis the about-face quick smartand sending her on her way, much to the collective relief of everyoneelse in her home town. Apparently Mavis was a right royal stuck upb.tch at high school and had remained so ever since. At least shestayed true to herself.

    My recommendation, in a nutshell, is don't touch this one with a bargepole. Seriously, do not be tempted- life is short, and you'll never getthese 2 hrs back.

    Oh- unless you're the sort of person who likes to laugh at people withdisabilities. If you do, maybe you'll enjoy this movie, but judging bymy fellow viewers' sighs and groans of disgust and disbelief you willbe one of few.

    PS Having written the above and then checked over the professionalreviews on RT, many of which applaud the verite and real world honesty,I can only say that most reviewers neglect to mention that the movie isjust not engaging.

  10. Troye Dchgl from Hong Kong
    29 Mar 2012, 5:49 pm

    Young Adult is Diablo Cody's latest utterly refreshing attempt on thelife of a once-famous high school queen who was facing challenges inher life. The renowned writer of Juno is making a entirely differentattempt here by depicting a mid-life crisis of Mavis Gary (CharlizeTheron) and her return visit to her hometown where she lived when shewas a teenager.

    Mavis hated the town, hated everything about it, hated all the peoplein it, that was, except Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson), who used to beher boyfriend. It didn't take her long to decide that she would returnand rescue Buddy who she thought was a hostage in the deadly town withhis marriage and newborn daughter. She would save herself from thedisappointment from her life, save Buddy from the living hell, andpicked up where things ended, once and for all.

    And well, you expected it. Things were not as simple as that; theynever are. So get ready for the adventure in this visit and get readyto know our Mavis better.

    Charlize Theron totally manipulated the role of Mavis, letting theaudience get to know who Mavis Gary really was as the events continuedto unfold. It was a solid, realistic and Oscar-worthy performance thatblew the audience away.

    Young Adult is about life, about the past and the present, about whypeople are easily stuck in the past and do not see a future ahead ofthem. This is about why we should accept the present and look forwardinstead of always looking back. It is also more of a drama than acomedy but still it did give me some laughs.


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