Wednesday 24th February 2010

Youth in Revolt

Director: Miguel Arteta
Year: 2009
Stars: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Steve Buscemi

This wasn't intentional. We were planning to go and see A Single Man, a film that had been recommended to us by more than one friend. However, for some reason everybody in Bristol came out in force on Wednesday night, and not only was the film sold out, Pizza Express was fully booked too. So I couldn't have my Pizza Express pudding (which I'd been looking forward to all day), or see the film I wanted to see.

In desperation, we headed to another cinema in the vague hope that there might be something on we'd be vaguely interested in seeing at a roughly sensible time. It turned out that Youth in Revolt was on at one of the cheaper cinemas, at a very convenient time. I had been vaguely wanting to see the film since it was released, but there had always been something else I wanted to see more. However, another advantage today was that it's a fairly short film, meaning we'd still be able to get the last bus home.

It turns out, it's also not a bad film. Cera plays Nick Twisp, a teenager who lives at home with his mum but is pretty miserable and lonely. Whilst on holiday, he meets a girl who he falls in love with. However, to be with her he has to get kicked out of his mum's house so he can go and live with his dad. Queue the Cera "alter ego" - a role that has had a lot of critics proclaiming that just maybe Cera can act, and isn't the "one-role" actor he's been so far.

To a certain extent, I agree. Cera's alter ego certainly has a very different perspective on life, and had Cera been given just that role to play in a different movie it could well have worked. But here, he's still playing the same character he always does - just with this addition thrown in. I've believed for a while that it's not necessarily Cera's acting ability that's at fault, just the fact that he's become very typecast. Although I guess we'll have to wait and see on that one, in the hope that he gets to play some characters that don't star in coming-of-age comedy/ dramas in the near future!

Other than that, the film is pretty enjoyable. There are a lot of jokes in here, and for the most part they definitely fall on a line- some of them crossing it, some of them falling just short of it. This makes the movie partly incredibly funny, partly a little gross (clearly intentional) and partly a little questionable. Most of this works, but a few scenes will leave you with raised eyebrows and quizzical looks.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.