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About the Movie
Academy Award® winner Charlize Theron stars as Mavis Gary, a 37-year-old former prom queen, and current writer of young adult novels, who returns home to relive her glory days and win back her now-married high school sweetheart. When she finds her homecoming more challenging than expected, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate and both must face the harsh realities of growing up in this brilliant and bittersweet story critics are hailing as a “one-of-a kind comedy”* and “quirky, funny, heartfelt.”** *Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly** Manny, DeLa Rose, NBC TV
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 182
- Fresh: 146
- Rotten: 36
- Average Rating: 7.0/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: There has always been something so inward about [Theron;] she can seem detached or deprived. But here it's as if the script and the direction felt bound to heed that loneliness, and let the actress go with her bravery and the depressive sag of her mouth.
Fresh: There's little about Mavis that makes for feel-good revelry. That's an understatement, perhaps. Yet, Theron's work feels true to Mavis' malaise -- and often, just as sad.
Fresh: Young Adult may be the year's most engaging feel-bad movie.
Rotten: As good as Theron and Oswalt are, and they're very good, Young Adult doesn't give them enough room to breathe.
MORE OF A DOUR DRAMA THAN A COMEDY
Let me just start by saying that a movie like "Young Adult" won't appeal to everyone. It's a contemporary comedy-drama that relies on bleakly dark humor, unflinchingly genuine character development and a somewhat harsh directorial style to tell its depressing, yet credible story. The film revolves around Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), a down-on-her-luck teen literature author who returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson). When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate (Patton Oswalt), who hasn't quite gotten over high school, either. Charlize and Patton portray their often depressing characters with the sort of gritty realism and painful honesty that most other comedies tend to ignore. None of their conversations together are ever laugh-out-loud funny, nor do they put a smile on your face. Rather, their purpose is to shed a light on the grim actualities of life as seen through the eyes of a couple of sad, dour pessimists. Mavis, the main character, is a deceitful, egotistical, envious, juvenile woman whose sole intention is to win the heart of her former flame, although she's completely oblivious to the fact that he's moved on with his life and has started a family of his own. While she comes across as more of a villain than a protagonist, it's really hard not to feel sympathetic for her at times. Most, if not all of us can relate to Mavis' irrational, jealous behavior, as well as her strong desire to live a better, more fulfilling life, but it's the overall journey she takes to make that dream a reality and its inevitable outcome that make her story all the more fragile and poignant. All in all, "Young Adult" is a depressingly realistic, self-destructive, no-holds-barred examination of prolonged adolescence that mixes uncomfortable, bleak humor with dark, complex drama. Like I said before, this movie is definitely not for everyone. Some will appreciate its gloomy directorial approach, and others won't. In my opinion, it's a subtle, yet powerful film that benefits from its talented cast and thought-provoking character studies. It may not be lighthearted or good-natured in any way whatsoever, but I still recommend giving it a chance.
Great movie. Wonderfully acted.
Anyone that didn't like this movie is either: A.) Too young to understand. B.) Hasn't been exposed to enough dark comedy. C.) Doesn't know any Mavis Garys in their life. D.) Is a "Mavis Gary" and too ignorant to understand the wrongs of her ways.
Nooooot funny at all. Depressing movie. Not for entertainment, more for deep and depressing thoughts.
- Young Adult (Music from the Motion Picture)
- Various Artists