(Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, et al / DVD / R / 2009 / Miramax)
Overview: A sweet and slap-happy mix of indie coming-of-age drama and Judd Apatow’s scatological but heartfelt manchild comedies, Greg Mottola’s Adventureland is a winning look at the pleasures and frustrations of dead-end jobs and teenage kicks as viewed through a filter of mid-‘80s pop culture.
DVD Verdict: James (Jesse Eisenberg) is a smart, sensitive kid just out of college. He needs to save money for grad school and finds himself working at a tawdry amusement park called Adventureland. His job is mindless and boring. But he soon ends up falling for his rebellious and angsty co-worker Em (Kristen Stewart).
Em is still in mourning over the loss of her mother to cancer, a situation made worse by her selfish and superficial step-mother. James and Em begin to develop a close bond. But Em is unwilling to committ and James is afraid of rejection. So they struggle to find their way while dealing with the trials and tribulations of youth.
I've got to say I love, love, love this movie. I also grew up in the 80's and can relate on a very profound level to the awkward and confusing situations James has to deal with. I liked writer/director James Mottola's earlier work, "Superbad". But this is a very different and perhaps even better movie.
It has a sweeter, more heartfelt tone, with humor that is more subtle but still had me laughing out loud. The acting by Jesse Eisneberg and Kristen Stewart is top notch. It also has a great soundtrack featuring bands like Husker Du and the Replacements. It has an eye for detail and nuance in it's portrait of coming of age in the 80's. But also has a timeless quality that people of all generations should be able to appreciate. This is my favorite film of 2009 so far. Don't miss it! [JL] This is a Widescreen presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Just My Life: The Making of Adventureland
Feature Commentary - With Writer/Director Greg Mottola and Actor Jesse Eisenberg
Picture Music Selection