Young-Adult: (an alternate perspective)
I thought I would go ahead and offer my thoughts on “Young Adult” as an alternative to Rob’s truly excellent review.
I think if I could choose an aspect of Young Adult that affected me most, it would no doubt be its ability to force me into a constant question of its own “self-conscience.” By this I mean, i could never decide wether the film’s supporting characters were underdeveloped on purpose, or wether we were seeing the story through some strange mix of perspectives. Knowing the team behind it I would certainly err on the side of the film being “excellent.”
In one way I was frustrated at the simplification dictated to the supporting “adult” characters. I felt Diablo Cody was so frustrated with characters like her creation, “Mavis,” that she understood them (and only them) all too well, while being completely devoid of a matured understanding of adult characters. But then, as I thought of characters such as Patton Oswalt’s, and even some of the dialogue and plot playing of the latter parts of the script, I realized the film was a constant ping-pong match of “matured” perspective and “young” perspective.
I would say the primary oddity is that the film’s primarily exploited age group is the least present in the film, yet, this very irony is the strength of it. in fact, i’d go as far as to say that Reitman and Cody would probably revel in the idea that those who related most to the character of “Mavis,” would be the least likely to understand the point of the film, much like Mavis herself.
It was this frustrating match and twist of ironies that led the film to stick with me as a “great film.”
I’ll have to note, though, that much like PTA’s “There Will Be Blood,” the film would dwindle into nothingness without a great actor and great performance to fill it’s primary role. Theron makes this film. As a married man, i did find her actions so infuriatingly shallow and immature that I couldn’t help but hate her, yet, i found myself in a state of loathsome pity. I really couldn’t stand the next words coming out of her mouth as each one revealed a, yet more shallow, layer of self-indulgence and pointless purpose. However, it was performed so convincingly by Theron that I was truly awed. We all know these people. People stuck perpetually in the idea of a memory that was uninformed, shallow, and selfish; one that said, “I want to party; i want to have fun; i want my life; what are you gonna do about it?” ….High school much?
They can’t understand true love; they can’t understand selflessness; they can’t even seem to utter one word or think one thought of a sober or sacred nature…….not yet at least.
Though the film doesn’t force a “revolutionary change” on the character, it did bring her around to a point of self-awareness (with the great aid of Patton Oswalt’s performance i might add); she’s forced to decide if she accepts that about herself or if she can change.
I won’t tell you what she chooses, but I’ll tell you that it won’t get out of your head (even with its ‘just-barely-heavy-hearted’ feel).
So Young Adult. Did I like it?
I loved it. A brilliant, brilliant film; that’s my opinion anyway