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Movie Review: Youth In Revolt

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago

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Written 1/8/10

I don’t really think this film generated much interest or anticipation and perhaps the studio felt it didn’t have much power within the film to start striking up all sorts of marketing ploys, but I have to be honest, this film wasn’t bad. There is lots in the story that perhaps can lend to lots of our own experiences as teenagers with raving hormones looking for that piece of ass, and yes, of course it might be a bit stretched out in the film with so many different angles and fantasy-like approaches, but it serves its purpose as a comedy flick. From all the subtle sarcastic jokes to more of the simple ones, ‘Youth in Revolt’ doesn’t’ disappoint. Well, at least it didn’t disappoint me. It’s simple to follow, great with comedic timing (which overrides a couple of dragging moments) and also delivered a pretty good cast, mainly in Michael Cera who’s always that kind of actor that leaves everyone on that awkward edge of “I’m not sure if I should like him or not.” Say what you want, but from “Juno” to “Superbad” to “Nick and Nora…,” Cera’s left a pretty interesting mark within films.
The simple soft voiced nerdy “kid” that can’t, always winds up like that simple little nerdy “kid” that can. There’s an aura to this guy that really brings out the cool aspect of acting all awkward and insecure… of course writing helps, but I don’t think it’s a task that would be easy to portray in films for just anyone and especially if all your surroundings are tightly packed with nothing more than a few minutes to do your thing until the director yells cut.
Cera’s found his nitch or calling or whatever you want to refer to it as and I think with a flop like “Year One” on his resume, it doesn’t really matter. He pulls through and I’m pretty well in tune with his kind of style and it just leads me to want to watch more of this kid (or guy) as he moves on.
The story pretty much follows the journal of Nick Twisp (Cera), an 18-year old high school student, who goes on a quest to lose his virginity after his parent's breakup.
As in any parental breakups, there’s always that missing piece to a teen’s puzzle of happiness and although unsure about how s/he may feel about their parent’s situation, there’s that sense of wanting/needing to grow up and following through will all of life’s trials and tribulations. One of them being sexual, as well as those who surround that may contribute in one way or another in order to be able to reach those heights of modern day achievements.
Twisp has a lot on his plate which entails balancing his insecurities… his mom’s relationship which he disapproves of due to the guy being nothing more than a beer guzzling leach who’s nothing more than a lair and opportunist (Zack Galifianakis)… a father between jobs (Steve Buscemi) whose been frolicking with a 25 year old… a best friend back home who pretty much is in the same ‘getting no ass’ situation, but a bit sadder due to his approaches… and of course his new possible love interest (Portia Doubleday) which he runs into accidentally while on vacation with his mom and his mom’s boyfriend.
With a gauntlet of complexities, one can only image the ride and it was pretty well crafted.
Direction was pretty interesting... It was blunt in many ways because the entire film revolves around one thing. Sex. So the implications and visuals are there. It wasn’t hidden in any way, shape or form. I mean the film basically starts and ends with sex, however; the lines in which fill in the rest are interesting. It was well paced and something I found very interesting were a few scenes in which animation was introduced. Although in one scene I understood why as it involved drugs, the others were a bit “Why?” … and it bugged me a bit at first, but it wasn’t that bad where I felt it dropped the film’s value. Miguel Arteta pretty much knew what it was he wanted when placing everything where it went. Not sure how that went in the editing room, but whatever. If a film’s produced and I enjoy it, the crew has done their job as a whole.
Scenery was pretty interesting as I’m sure it didn’t necessarily have to take place where it did, but it fit within the writing. I know – I may sound a bit contradicting, but I could have seen the same thing being done in an urban kind of setting, but okay, I survived.
Overall, quite pleasing in many ways… it may be approached as another teen-lovey-dovey kind of film, but there’s more to it. It may seem like a love story, but to a certain extent it’s not. It’s all about what may feel like love, but in the end it’s just lust, obsession and a mind-set of stranded thoughts... All for the sake of hittin’ skins! (I haven't heard that term since the 90s)
The film also stars Ray Liotta and Justin Long.



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