When you go to see a movie like Youth In Revolt, you wonder for what audience was it targeted. Was it supposed to be enjoyed by teens? Well the film's pesky R rating hampers that demographic. Maybe older teens and young adults? No, they have a little more taste than to be suckered in by the banality of all that is offered on screen. Perhaps devoted Michael Cera fans? There are no die hard Michael Cera fans. In short, this is a film without a fan base that should crash and burn within a few weeks at the most.
In the film, Michael Cera plays Nick Twisp, a sixteen year old high school student who lives with his sex-loving mother (Jean Smart) and her numerous boyfriends (Zack Galifianakis and Ray Liotta). On a summer holiday to check out some property with his mother and her boy toy, Nick meets Sheenie Saunders (Portia Doubleday) and instantly falls in love.
When he returns home he devises a plan to get kicked out of his mother's house so he will have to go live with his father (Steve Buscemi) in the town where Sheenie lives. He creates a psychological alter ego named Francois Dillinger who comes up with the crimes for Nick to commit.
The movie may be all about Nick and his plans to revolt but it ends up being about Nick and his revolting actions. Everything about the movie is revolting from the way Nick's character breezily commits crimes to his casual attitude about sex (no worry about std's, pregnancies, or anything else).
Then there is the depiction of the adults in the film. Sheenie's parents (Mary Kay Place and M. Emmet Walsh) are religious fanatics so you know they are losers. Nick's mother lives off the child support she gets from Nick's father but that is the extent of her motherly concerns. Nick's father begrudges his son the support he has to pay so there is no security there. Plus Sheenie's older brother (Justin Long) just wants to get by and get high.
At the top of this heap is Cera. He has been playing the teen age virgin boy for so many movies now that you can't imagine him in any other role. The problem is he started out annoying in this part and it has gotten more annoying as the years and the films have gone by. If he has an ounce of talent in him he ought to try something different and do it quickly before the parade passes him by.
The movie is rated R for profanity and sexual situations.
Youth In Revolt will probably find a moderate audience on DVD. There the kids who couldn't get into the R rated movie theaters will sneak a peek at home. Hopefully that will not be enough to justify another creation of this type of film.
My score for Youth In Revolt: A revolting 2 out of 10.
Jackie K. Cooper - www.jackiekcooper.com
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