Youth in Revolt

"Weak"

Youth in Revolt Review


Maybe this would work if you saw it before any other Michael Cera movies. Or any other quirky, over-written rom-coms. But after all that have gone before, this feels strangely awkward and unconvincing. And rather insufferably smug.

Nick Twisp (Cera) is a 16-year-old who feels out of sync with the world. He has a summer job in a caravan park, where he instantly falls in love with Sheeni (Doubleday), the fiercely protected daughter of religious nutcases (Walsh and Place). Sheeni is like a female version of him, only sexy and smarter, and he creates an imaginary alter ego named Francois Dillinger to give him the confidence to seduce her. But of course things go wrong from the start.

Five years ago, Cera would have been the right age to play this character, and the film might have even felt fresh and funny. But after Juno, Superbad, Nick and Norah and even Paper Heart, Cera has worn out this character. No matter how disarmingly cute he is, this script's snarky dialog feels coldly calculated, leaving us completely uninvolved in Nick's internal adventure.

So it's the characters around him who provide most of the interest here: Smart and Buscemi as his self-absorbed parents, Galifianakis and Graynor as their hapless new partners, Kalyan as Nick's girl-crazy pal, Liotta as a bent cop and Long as Sheeni's rebel brother. But despite some nice acting subtext, even these people feel cartoonish thanks to one-note characterisations and too-astute dialog. Essentially, Nash's script is playing with surfaces here, only rarely touching on something that feels like an emotion.

Arteta's direction is similarly preoccupied with wacky touches, from inventively animated sequences to zany capers like the one at Sheeni's boarding school. Sure, there are some terrific touches along the way, and the film is shot with a lovely sense of colour and texture. Arteta has a way with a camera that makes his films refreshingly unlike most over-lit, bland Hollywood movies, and he even manages to make the most of this story's meandering structure. But when the film's only message seems to be that we need to be ourselves, it ironically feels like maybe he's sold out after all.



Youth in Revolt

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 8th January 2010

Box Office USA: $15.2M

Budget: $18M

Distributed by: The Weinstein Company

Production compaines: Dimension Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 66%
Fresh: 107 Rotten: 56

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Nick Twisp, as Jerry, as Paul Saunders, as Lance Wescott, as George Twisp, as Lacey, as Sheeni Saunders, as Taggarty, as Lefty, as Vijay Joshi, as Mr. Ferguson, Jade Fusco as Bernice Lynch, Lise Lacasse as Matron, as Mr. Saunders, as Mrs. Saunders, Jonathan B. Wright as Trent

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.