Adventureland Review

7 Apr

My mom called this movie a “chick flick.” I don’t think it was a chick flick because it involved plenty of drugs and didn’t have any shopping!

Adventureland“is a new movie by Greg Mottola, the director of Superbad, starring a crop of new young actors. These aren’t the same old same old people from Superbad and Nick and Norahs. Sure, Bill Hader is there, and he is HILARIOUS in his role. Speaking of, when does this guy get his own movie? I mean come on! Forgetting Sarah Marshall he was the bomb and made me crack up multiple times in this movie too!

The movie is set in the summer of 1987 (I was six!) and revolves around James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) right after he graduates from college. He is all prepared to take a summer long trip to Europe with his friends before Grad School in New York City. His parents (Wendy Malick and Jack Gilpin) tell him that they are having money problems and they won’t be able to gift him the $900 they promised for his European vacation. He later learns that they will also be unable to  pay his rent in New York to go to school and suggest that he stays home in Pittsburgh.

He decides to get a summer job in order to save up enough to get going in New York for school. After applying at various places he winds up working at Adventureland, the local amusement park! NOTE: Much of this movie was filmed at Kennywood an amusement park near Pittsburgh. His old friend Frigo (Matt Bush – the kid from the AT&T rollover minute commercials) works there and spends most of the movie punching James in the nuts.

The couple who runs Adventureland are Bobby and Paulette (Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig) are comedic genius, “get it in the clowns mouth mister!” They are out there but believable enough to keep you from just putting them aside as comic relief, they just might remind you of someone you know.  The hire James for games even though he would prefer rides, this leads James to meet Emily (Kristen Stewart), the very cute intellectual love interest in the movie.

The movie revolves around James, a virgin, chasing after Emily. Unfortunately, Emily has been having a secret relationship with the married maintenance guy (Ryan Reynolds). Expect the typical twists and turns between James and Emily ending the movie with James losing his virginity, or at least I assume. The movie ends before any of the good stuff happens, which led me to wonder about the “R” rating. I’m guessing the main reason was the rampant use of marijuana. But I digress…

One of the other games operators at Adventureland is Joel (Martin Starr), the average tall, lanky, nerdy guy with coke bottle glasses. Joel was a character I liked with his shyness and the fact that he gets rejected by a bitch of a girl, kinda reminded me of myself if I was Rob-skinny.

Being that this takes place in a theme park, we are introduced to some dirty carnival type tricks that make it impossible for anyone to win, especially the “Giant Ass Panda.” No one EVER wins the “Giant Ass Panda!”

As I said before, the movie has a happy ending, but that was probably obvious. It takes a while to get there, but you know it is going to. The movie is FULL of those teenage type awkward silences between James and Emily that I know too well and I like that. I like that the movie allowed there to be silence between characters.

This is a movie by the director of Superbad, but it doesn’t really have any of those super raunchy scenes you might expect from the movies that have come in that family tree of movies. There is a lot of drug use and drinking and driving (which is bad folks) but it is a pretty innocent movie.

I loved the movie and will give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Great acting and a good story did this for me.

Go and check it out!

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