Film Review: Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody Sway Us to Like the Unlikable in ‘Young Adult’

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CHICAGO – Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) isn’t a girl you’d Facebook like. She’s got one too many dark passengers, she’s a repugnant drunk, she likes too much pink, her white dog is too puffy and most would consider it less than Usher cool that she’s throwing herself at a married man she couldn’t bag back in high school. Or is she? And is Mavis so different than you? Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Those are director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody’s key questions in their new collab “Young Adult” about one woman’s late-blooming arrested development. And questions they remain long after the credits roll. Reitman – the son of the legendary “Ghostbusters” filmmaker Ivan Reitman – is a non-message man. He doesn’t believe in them. Instead, he’s an open-ended, open-minded mystery man who wants you to think for yourself – or at least think at all. We’ll learn more on that when we publish our “Young Adult” interview with Reitman this weekend.

Does Mavis behave badly any more so than anyone else? Have you had similar thoughts even if you’ve never acted on them? Are people good, bad or – as Reitman believes – simply complicated?

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Young Adult”.

Oscar-winning “Juno” director Diablo Cody, who last hopped in Hollywood’s bed with Reitman for 2007’s “Juno,” has since then penned the appalling “Jennifer’s Body” and fascinating “United States of Tara” on Showtime. And since “Juno,” Reitman has written and directed George Clooney’s Oscar-nominated “Up in the Air”. With so much talent between this new power duo and these still relatively new writers and directors, “Young Adult” doesn’t disappoint.

Soon after her divorce, Mavis returns to her home in small-town Minnesota. (Cody, who’s originally from Chicago, moved to Minnesota to live with her Internet boyfriend, Jonny, who she later married. Cody’s writing usually always involves Minnesota.) The dark side of Mavis wants to reignite a romance with her ex-boyfriend, Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson), who is now married with kids.

“Young Adult” stars Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt, Elizabeth Reaser, Collette Wolfe, Jill Eikenberry, Richard Bekins, Mary Beth Hurt, Kate Nowlin, Jenny Dare Paulin, Rebecca Hart, Louisa Krause, Elizabeth Ward Land, Brian McElhaney and Hettienne Park from director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody. The film, which is rated “R” for language and some sexual content, has a running time of 94 minutes. “Young Adult” opened on Dec. 9, 2011.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Young Adult” review.

Patrick Wilson and Charlize Theron in Young Adult
Patrick Wilson (left) and a bitterly jealous Charlize Theron (right) in “Young Adult”.
Image credit: Paramount Pictures

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Young Adult” review.

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