Watching Young Adult will give you horrifying memories of the queen bee who once ruled high school.
But as most tend to grow into different people with better lives,this film is anything but. Instead, it’s a story so awkward it’ll make you cringe.
Written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman (who last worked together in Juno and Jennifer’s Body), Young Adult stars Charlize Theron as Mavis Gary,a thirty-something woman whose best years were from the past.
Divorced and living in Minneapolis, Mavis is a ghost writer for a series of teen fiction novels about to be cancelled. Finding little fulfillment in her life, she spends her time getting wasted, drinking large amounts of Diet Coke and paying little attention to her dog Dolce.
Things change when she receives an email from her high school former flame Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) and his wife Beth (Elizabeth Reaser) announcing the birth of their daughter. Stuck in a state of delusion, Mavis decides to take a trip back to her small Minnesota hometown to get her ex back.
But when Mavis returns, she’s convinced her ex is a hostage she must save by ruining his marriage. When she explains her plans to former classmate Matt Freehauf (played by Patton Oswalt), he tells her she’s crazy and to keep her insane idea to herself.
Up until then, the film is humourous and entertaining. From there, it just goes downhill. As nothing goes as planned, seeing Mavis’ efforts is tiring and painful to watch. Back in a town where everyone feels sorry for her, the only person who can relate is Matt, who was left physically disabled from a brutal attack by school bullies who mistakened him for being gay.
If it weren’t for Theron and Oswalt’s excellent performances, the film becomes difficult to endure. Seeing Mavis continuously get humiliated is just sad, not funny. It’s slow and by the film’s end, there’s barely any resolution to Mavis’ problems.
If it weren’t saved by Theron’s hilariously evil delivery of the clingy and narcissistic protagonist, the film’s humour gets dry fast.