Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Youth in Revolt" movie review

"Youth in Revolt" is about Nick Twisp (Michael Cera), a boy who has basically no experience with girls, who is looking to lose his virginity. When he goes on vacation to a trailer park with his mom and his mom's current loser boyfriend, Nick meets Sheeni Saunders, with whom he immediately falls in love. When it's time for him and his family to return home, however, he can't bear to leave Sheeni; they hatch a plan so that Nick's dad will move near where Sheeni lives, and Nick will get himself kicked out of his house and move in with his dad. To do this, he creates an alternate persona for himself—"Francois Dillinger"—and Francois is a much "darker" side of Nick.

There are a lot of A-list stars in this movie other than Michael Cera; Jean Smart ("24") plays Nick's mother, Ray Liotta has a great role as one of the mother's boyfriend, and Fred Willard plays the "kooky neighbor" who helps Nick out in a pinch. Justin Long also appears in a small role as Sheeni's mushroom-smoking older brother, who introduces Willard and Cera's characters to mushrooms as well.

The movie itself is a little strange but there are definitely funny moments. When Sheeni is sent away to a "French cultural school," Nick and one of his new school friends drive down there to see her, and Sheeni and her nymphomaniac roommate sneak them into their room at night; they are subsequently kicked out by the 'dorm mother.' It is great to see Cera play Francois, because it's not often that one gets to see him play the "bad boy." Cera is most often type-cast in roles such as Nick, a dorky guy whom moviegoers can still identify with. I also enjoyed a few of the scenes that I knew were shot in Ann Arbor, since I had been living there when they were shooting those parts of the movie.

Should you see this movie? Maybe. If you are a big fan of Cera, then "Yes." Keep in mind that it's a bit raunchy (hence the "R" rating) but the movie uses this to its advantage for laughs. Overall, I was glad I saw the movie, but it is not one I would have paid to see. Reviewed by Liz

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