Youth in Revolt

24 Mar

Title: Youth in Revolt
Year: 2009
Director: Miguel Arteta
Writer: Gustin Nash, adapting from the C.D. Payne novel
Starring: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Mary Kay Place, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long, Ray Liotta, Steve Buscemi
MPAA Rating: R, sexual content, language and drug use
Runtime: 90 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 7.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 68%

Youth in Revolt is a film I completely adored upon watching it, I really did, it wasn’t a masterpiece, not by any length, and it wasn’t completely loyal to the source material either, but it was a really charming film, one that allowed its star, Michael Cera, to stretch out a bit, and one that discovered Portia Doubleday, an actress I hope we get to see more of sooner rather than later.

I’m a huge Michael Cera fan, mostly because I’ve had many people tell me that I make them think of him, and vice versa, and I would be stupid to knock on someone who makes people think of me, and I’m okay with people thinking that, even though I’m not quite convinced of it myself, he has, after all, starred in one of the funniest TV shows of all time in Arrested Development, and had terrific star roles in Juno, Superbad and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

He always seems to play pretty much the same character, a geek, with a laid-back attitude and who seems to be quietly bursting with desire, in this one he is given room to stretch out a bit more, not because of his character, which is essentially that same character he always plays, but because of his character’s alter ego. More on that later.

Mr. Cera plays Nick, yes I do realize that’s the second time his character has been a Nick, a virgin with divorced parents who then meets Sheeni, the Portia Doubleday character, while on a family vacation. First of all, how insanely cool is the name Portia Doubleday? Secondly, how insanely cool is Portia Doubleday? This is her first big role, and she’s pitch perfect as Sheeni.

His desire to meet Sheeni again is what sets off the movie, and sets off the alter ego I was talking about, Francois Dillinger.  As I said, its nice to see Mr. Cera stretch himself a bit with the Francois personna, he still plays him in the same tone he plays his characters, but this character is suave and has a wispy mustache, two things usually not associated with Cera, I thought he did really well.

The rest of the story I won’t delve in, suffice it to say that Youth in Revolt is a truly good film, with two fantastic leads and a huge amount of equally terrific performances from the supporting cast which has some truly outstanding comedic talent. The tale is one we have, in one different form or another, heard before, but what’s really great about the film is how its told, and to truly convey that in writing I can only urge you to go see it.

Grade: A-


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