Adventureland

January 14th, 2010 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

Coming of age tales never get old, and if they’re well done, there’ll always be an audience for them, particularly when they’re set in an era today’s grown-up movie fans hold dear.

It’s 1987 and recent college graduate James (Eisenberg) gets bad news from his parents; his dad’s demotion is going to cost them serious money and rather than travel to Europe with his friend like he planned he has to stay home and get a loser summer job.

He does so in the creaky, cheesy theme park of the title and starts ingratiating himself into the politics of his co-workers, including making friends with an equally nerdy contemporary, idolising the cool maintenance guy (Reynolds) and pining for the dark, secretive Em (Stewart).

It’s from the same filmmaking team that bought us the more obtuse comedy Superbad, so there’s a lot of frathouse laughs but a slightly heavier dramatic edge few teen comedies manage as the cast of lost souls try to find their way in the world together.

Eisenberg plays himself by Stewart looks a little uncomfortable playing the broody smart girl, pulling her hair back to signify emotional turmoil a few times too many. Comic additions like Mottola regular Bill Hader as the folksy but slightly unhinged park manager add to the humour.


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