Growing up is hard to do in Young Adult

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100 movies of 2013

Young Adult

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.

It’s another one of those. Those films that have been a good watch. Engaged me. Amused me. Maybe even made me cry a little bit. And yet, coming here to write something about it is proving to be difficult. Maybe I’m suffering the same writers block that Young Adult’s Mavis suffered from. Just be glad I’m not even contemplating going down the same route as she did to kickstart something to write about.

Young Adult is a good film. Charlize Theron had a hard job with Mavis. Mavis Gary is a self obsessed nut job who doesn’t appear to have many qualities you’d expect to have in a human being. Jesus, that was harsh.

And yet, I felt for her. Mavis made for an incredibly unsympathetic sympathetic character. Maybe it was more pity that I was feeling for her. Like the rest of her ex-highschool classmates. Massive kudos to Charlize Theron for making such an incredibly unlikable character interesting to watch.

Credit to Patton Oswalt too. Right now I’m having a lot of fun watching him comedy-up Justified. Here, I figured he would play a sort of comedic character. But turns out, Matt Freehauf is just as messed up as Mavis and living in the same history as her.

Young Adult is a tough watch. Tough in the sense that Mavis is not a nice person. She’s not a central character you root for. She’s selfish, self obsessed and her aim in the film is just wrong. Get passed all of that and you’ll find a somewhat sad film about a couple of people who are still trying to find their place in the big ol’ world.

(Side note: Is it me, or was the film totally marketed wrong. The film posters make it look like some kind of comedy, rather than the straight up drama that it is.)

Young Adult (Viewed: 19/02/13 | Rating: 4/5)

Check out all of the films I’ve seen this year:

9 films so far…

  1. Flight (Viewed: 01/01/13 | Rating: 4/5)
  2. Beasts of the Southern Wild (Viewed: 09/01/13 | Rating: 3/5)
  3. Gangster Squad (Viewed: 15/01/13 | Rating: 4/5)
  4. Les Miserables (Viewed: 23/01/13 | Rating: 5/5)
  5. Django Unchained (Viewed: 25/01/13 | Rating: 5/5)
  6. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (Viewed: 27/01/13 | Rating: 4/5)
  7. Another Earth (Viewed: 29/01/13 | Rating: 4/5)
  8. The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (Viewed: 07/02/13 | Rating: 1/5)
  9. Young Adult (Viewed: 19/02/13 | Rating: 4/5)


  1. Ok this is movie I have intended to watch for a while but for some reason I keep pushing it back. I gotta check it out. Nice review!

  2. Young Adult didn’t appeal to my family when I showed it to them. Worked much better watching it by myself. Not sure why that is. Charlize Theron’s character is not for everyone, maybe that’s it. It’s not a traditional feel good movie, but I can empathize with her as you did. Perhaps a film to put on when we are feeling a bit confused like Mavis, who knows. Agree with 4/5 rating.

    • Yes, definitely not one I’d enjoy watching with anyone but myself. Despite Mavis being, frankly, a bitch. There are a surprising number of moments where I could empathise with what she was going through.

  3. Yeah, it’s not an easy watch, thats for sure Jaina. I thought it was pretty good though nonetheless. Not great, but good.

    Theron though is awesome here. She had a good part and she really maximized it. 😉

    • Theron is fast becoming an actress I really enjoy watching. There’s not many of those for me.

  4. One of my favorites from 2011 because it gave us a simple story, a simple character (sort of), and made us think more and more about what we liked about this person and didn’t. Theron was a wild-fire in this role and totally deserved the Oscar nomination that year. She was amazing. Nice review Jaina.

  5. You know what, I liked this movie too. I mean, face value, it doesn’t sound like a good movie, but Charlize Theron manages to play Mavis pretty well.

  6. This seems to evoke different reactions from critics and audiences. I thought Charlize Theron was excellent and it was a solid, well-written drama.

    • Surprised how low a score it got on places like IMDB. Though, I really shouldn’t expect anything other than randomness in scoring from that place.

  7. I love Charlize Theron but for some reason I’m not too enthused about this movie. I might give it a rent at some point but in no rush to do so.

    Btw, would love to hear your opinion on TV’s bad boys, Jaina. Someone already mentioned Spike which I’m sure you’d concur 😉

    • I wasn’t too enthused, but I’d read so much good stuff about it from bloggers everywhere, felt I had to see what the fuss was about. Turned out to be well worth it.

      Spike eh? Well, one day maybe I’ll get around to talking about him, but to put it mildly, he was great, good then WTF. But then that’s only my opinion! HA!

  8. I liked this one quite a bit — probably a 4/5 in my book, too — and thought both Theron and Oswalt did a great job. I can kind of get the comedy push, but it was some *really* dark humor.

  9. So glad you liked the movie, I think it’s an incredibly misunderstood film, I agree that the advertizing was all wrong. it’s actually one of my all time favorite, such a terrific character study and Theron was brilliant as always.

    • Very misunderstood and woefully badly sold out there. I want to slap whoever came up with the poster and tagline.

  10. I found it really cold. It left me empty. I wouldn’t really want to watch this one again. But yeah it is a good film and I guess you really do feel for her a bit.

  11. It’s mostly a drama, but a comedy too, as it has a lot of understated dark humor, the kind of film that makes you laugh because it is awkward and politically incorrect.
    More than feeling bad for Marvis, I felt sorry for Patton Oswalt’s character, who really impressed me. I even included his performance as one of the best of the year, definitely among my top 5 male performers for 2011.
    Nice review. I gave Young Adult a very similar score, a solid 4/5.

    • You’re right, there were some very awkward laughs. Patton Oswalt was surprising. I’ve not seen him in this sort of role before.

  12. I think I was confused by the trailers I saw. I thought she was trying to steal back her old love. Guess it’s more complicated than that! Though from the previews, you certainly didn’t seem like a likable character!

    • She’s far from likable. But you can sympathise with her. They do make it hard for you to do that though. Which sort of makes the film what it is. You should give it a watch. But don’t think it’s a feel good film!

  13. I haven’t sat down to watch this yet, but I’m glad to see you think it’s good because it’s one film I look forward to. More so now 🙂

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