April 5, 2009

Adventureland

If you were expecting a wacky, Apatow-ian R-rated comedy (and based on the TV spots who could blame you), adjust your expectations sideways and buy a ticket anyways. Adventureland is a pleasant autobiographical coming-of-age movie from director Greg Mottola (Superbad, The Daytrippers).adventureland

More like Almost Famous than Superbad, Adventureland's plot is so transparent as to be nonexistent. Its success relies on capturing the atmosphere of its era, and the performances of the leads. Jesse Eisenberg is excellent as the over-smart, articulate, but slightly awkward brainiac, spending his summer of 1987 working as a carny at Adventureland. It's an archetype made famous by Michael Cera, just five years older in this case. Kristen Stewart better learn to act soon, because I have seen her in two movies this month, and her It Girl status won't carry her much further. Ryan Reynolds is surprisingly not bad. The music is pretty good, although I have NO interest in Lou Reed, so every Velvet Underground moment in the movie (of which there are many) made me groan. Bring on more Crowded House and Whitesnake!

(AMC Burlington, with the lovely wife. Paid for with an AMC GC my mother-in-law gave me for my birthday. Thanks Deb!)