youth in revolt: film review


I wanted to watch this movie twice, and even as I’m writing this, I’m debating if it’s a movie I’d want to own. Seeing the previews got me interested. I think I’m a Michael Cera fan, and the chance to see two Ceras (a normal one and a very bad one with a weird mustache, and I mean that in a good way), why not?

What I learned in the credits is that this movie is based on a book I’ve suddenly become interested in reading. This usually doesn’t happen to me too often, but it must be a good sign. Plus, I’m finally catching on to the idea of what it takes to be a good writer (you need to read a lot). Reading the trades doesn’t always count, but at least reading books that TV and movies are based on is a start to a pretty good reading habit.

For starters, I would say this movie is a combination of Napoleon Dynamite, Juno, and Fight Club (spoiler alert… sorry, but if you haven’t seen this by now… get with it).

I mean all of those movies as compliments, even if you may feel, as some do, one or all of those movies are over-rated.

Like I said, this movie is based on a book. So I’m well aware that these characters don’t have much to do with the movies I mentioned. But I will explain why I thought of those movies. And I’m aware of Juno also having the Cera presence.

Napoleon is an awkward movie about and awkward boy and his awkward friends. It’s full or dry humor and almost doesn’t seem to have a plot. The simple weirdness of it all and the fact that this is a movie that, as a friend once told me after the first viewing, you don’t know if you like it until maybe the next day. To be honest, I’m still not sure if I like it… but I definitely don’t mind watching it more than once. I guess that means I like it, right? Anyway, the same goes for Youth in Revolt. I wasn’t really sure if I liked it when it was over. It was full of quirky awkward moments and characters that just seemed different from other movies that are based on the whole “coming-of-age” scenario we are all familiar with. I did not get a sense of American Pie and losing “it” before graduation.

When it comes to Juno, the weird characters are still there, but this film is filled with the same kind of witty writing that makes you wonder, who really talks like that? Apparently Cera does. But for me, it works. Even if I don’t speak like that in a day-to-day basis, I at least think in similar terms. Another difference with Juno is that the star has already had sex and is dealing with the consequences, so there really aren’t much more similarities from there. I lied, I forgot about the animation sequences. Actually, that’s one of the awesome things about Youth in Revolt. An interesting way to do a montage.

As for Fight Club, and this is where the SPOILER ALERT comes in… Cera’s character has an alter ego. Whereas the narrator actually has a multiple personality thing going on. Here I’ve been talking about why I am comparing these movies to this movie and I didn’t even explain what the movie is about. Cera meets a beautiful girl after being so unlucky and lonely in love, that he meets someone just like him, but she tells him in order to be with her, he’s got to be very bad in order to get what he wants. So, he creates this alter ego, who at times says and does what needs to happen to get where he wants to be. I would contend that Tyler Durden does that for the Narrator in Fight Club as well. Strange as it may sound, I don’t have a strong desire to read that book the movie is based on. Yet I’m curious as to what else Nick Twisp has going on in his life.

The other factor Revolt shares with Fight Club is the R rating. I think that’s established the very first scene and the few F-bombs dropped. BUT, the scene which is most amusing is when he tries mushrooms. With that said, it made for an interesting Thanksgiving scene a little later in the film. Anyway, this movie earns it’s R. This movie was made for fans of the book, and those kids who sneak in to see Superbad.

With that said, and looking back on these humorous moments (I recommend checking out the deleted scenes on this one), this might make its way into my DVD collection. It was, in a sense, the same old “boy meets girl” story, but told in a unique way that seems to separate itself from the others. Rent worthy and possibly buy worthy.

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