JIM reviews: “ADVENTURELAND” – Carnival adventures in the Midway of Growing Up =

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ADVENTURELAND” – Carnival adventures in the Midway of Growing Up =
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Per an advance preview:) JESSE EISENBERG (the older son in “Squid & The Whale”) plays James, a young man in drug-infused 1987 who uneagerly accepts a job at a Pittsburgh carnival - amusement park to earn money (his unemployed father can’t provide) to allow him to go to college in New York City. His old friends seem to desert him, & most of his new co-workers find him a bit overly intellectual & naïve. But, he does start to impress and slowly open-up to fellow employee KRISTEN STEWART, not knowing she’s secretly “involved” with the park’s older maintenance man RYAN REYNOLDS. Altho the film’s inaccurately being sold as a wild comedy (like the director’s previous “Superbad” from 2007), most of the strong funniness is provided by BILL HADER & KRISTEN WIIG as the managers of the carnival. Overall, it’s a very well-done “COMING-OF-AGE” type yarn— a gentle rather than raucous story which gradually becomes more about ROMANCE & growing up than craziness. It’s very well-acted by its 2 main leads (who make you care about them), and an enjoyable entertainment.

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