10 March 2012

YOUNG ADULT (Dir. Jason Reitman, 2011, US)

Charlize Theron as Mavis Gary.
Charlize Theron as Mavis, the ‘psycho prom queen bitch’, is a delicious self loathing figure of thirty something neurosis. Mavis is not suffering from a mid life crisis; she is suffering from a case of frustrated boredom induced by memories of a teenage romance. Mavis has a job, which is to write trashy tween romances for a generation of vacuous teenagers who live in an instantaneous culture of repetition. An inflated case of self importance means that Mavis assumes she has some sort of influence as a writer. Her life as a ghost writer in the city of Minneapolis is depicted as a chore trapped in a disconcerting regime. Escape from a small rural hick town may have given Mavis anonymity but she seems imprisoned and essentially lost in a quagmire of resentment. To reclaim her self worth, Mavis returns to her home town with an absurdest plan of reuniting, permanently that is, with her high school sweetheart. Such an attempt to reclaim a happier past leaves Mavis looking both desperate and foolish as she slowly discovers that her arrogance offends everyone. Diablo Cody, who also wrote Juno, is a great scriptwriter and has a wonderful feel for details. It’s the observational touches that make Mavis such an embarrassingly real creation. Young Adult is kind of the antithesis of Juno and should be viewed as a satire on wasted youth and a terrific trip back to the 90s.

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