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Sunday 25 March 2012

Young Adult, Film written by Diablo Cody, directed by Jason Reitman, starring Charlize Theron, 8* out of 10

Mavis Gary lives in Minneapolis and is a writer of a series of Young Adult fiction, appearing under a more famous person's name. Recently divorced, she lives in an apartment for singles in a sad high rise block. When she is told that the young adult novel she is working on will be the last in the series she faces decline into drink, unemployment and a generally sad and lonely life. 

But Mavis finds some resources from her past as the coolest girl in her small town high school. Rather than give in to impending doom, she decides that her now married high school sweetheart, who has just invited her and other friends to celebrate the birth of his first child, is the man she should have married.  Inspired by the romantic optimism of the young adult fiction she writes, Mavis decides that with a bit of positive thinking and pizazz, this oversight can still be fixed. Convinced that obstacles are there to be overcome, she sets out to her old home town to conquer her man and live happily ever after.

What makes Young Adult stand out from the usual fare of romantic comedy/drama coming out of Hollywood, is the ironic and sometimes sarcastic look at American stereotypes. The flawed character of the main protagonist played with great gusto by Oscar winner Charlize Theron is a well written woman's role. There is a talented supporting cast, too.

This is a comedy with bite and a refreshing disdain for political correctness. For those who appreciate that sort of thing, it all adds up to a fiendishly enjoyable evening at the movies. 

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