Monday, June 21, 2010

Not At All Revolting

A stomach bug kept me home all weekend which meant no Toy Story 3 which is a shame because it's turning out to be one of the bestest movies ever, if the reviews are to be believed. Of course, this did present an opportunity to catch up on DVDs which means I can now review a movie I missed when it first came out in theaters, that being Youth In Revolt.

The movie was written and directed by people who had previously written and directed movies that even their moms didn't see. Luckily, they managed to get Michael Cera to play the Michael Cera role. The Michael Cera role is a witty, intelligent passive aggressive social misfit who can't get laid. Thing about Michael Cera is that he's talented and likable and you can believe it when pretty girls eventually lunge mouth first for his crotch. If you don't get Michael Cera to play the Michael Cera role, the results can be disastrous as we saw recently when they tried to cast Jay Baruchel in that role for the movie She's Out Of My League.

The Michael Cera role this time around is a 16 year old guy named Nick Twisp who lives with his mother and her loser boyfriend (Jean Smart and Zach Galifianakis) in Berkley, CA. If Nick is lucky, he is invisible to girls because they subtly ridicule when they know he's there. When the boyfriend cheats some sailors in a business dealer and takes off with Nick and his mom to hide out at a camping ground for a while, Nick goes along not realizing that this is actually a lucky break for him. At the trailer park, Nick meets Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday) who turns out to be the girl of his dreams. Like just about every girl who ends up with Michael Cera, she's pretty, smart, wise, sophisticated, sexually aggressive without being slutty and, despite her youth, already a little world weary and generally bored with life. She's the kind of girl who matter-of-factly mentions that rubbing lotion on her bikini clad body has given Nick an erection but doesn't yell, "Ew, gross," as every other girl in Nick's life almost surely would in the same situation. In other words, she's a girl that has never existed ever in the history of anything. Despite the fact that she has a boyfriend (sort of, anyway) Sheeni does have a fling with Nick and he becomes focused on her when hers become the first breasts he's ever felt.

Sheeni is attracted to bad boys and aggressive figures which pretty much rules out Nick so he creates another fully functioning personality for himself named Francois Dillinger. You actually see Francois as a mustached, smoking version of Nick. Also, unlike Nick, Francois is not a passive/aggressive douchebag. I think it actually works when Nick basically goes outside his body to watch his fearless creation at work. Sheeni lives near his father (Steve Buscemi) but his mom won't let him move there so Francois comes up with the idea of causing $5 million worth of damages by ramming his car into a building so that Mom thinks sending him to live with Dad is now her idea.

The movie's pretty good up to this point but begins to break down when Sheeni is sent to a French speaking boarding school. I don't want to reveal too much more of the plot but Nick/Francois does something really bad to Sheeni, something that she shouldn't be able to forgive yet does because, well, it's a movie and everyone would be depressed if they didn't end up together in the end.

Youth In Revolt is a flawed but still somewhat entertaining film about unrealistic characters doing things that would never happen but if I rejected every movie like that, I'd never enjoy a movie again.

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