Young Adult Review

Don’t you, forget about me.

The classic Simple Minds refrain, forever associated with the high school detention yarns of an iconic breakfast club from the eighties, could easily be applied to nigh on anyone’s high school memories.

But for one sort of successful writer in Diablo Cody’s brilliant new film Young Adult, high school memories are all she has left.

Mavis Gary has it all; a successful career, a beautiful apartment in Minneapolis and looks that’ll open more than just doors.

So why does her life feel so empty?

This is brought even more sharply into focus when her former high school sweetheart, Buddy, includes Mavis in a group email to celebrate the birth of his first child.

So our heroine does what any professional and mature thirty seven year old woman would do; plots a way to rescue her one time beau from a life of boredom and misery with his new family.

Packing her bags as well as her poor little dog in matching luggage, Mavis leaves the “mini apple” to go back to her hometown and reclaim who she believes is her one true love.

But will Buddy be quite as enamoured when he sees her?

Young Adult is the latest film from the brilliant mind of Diablo Cody and I doubt there’ll be a funnier film released for the rest of the year.

Her narcissistic force of feminine wiles is breathtaking to behold.

Mavis exhibits every self absorbed and over indulgent thought you could imagine for the girl who used to be prom queen.

And then acts upon these.

At the heart of her behaviour lies a simple yet painful truth that anyone who’s had enough experiences with the fairer sex will be able to identify.

Mavis doesn’t really like herself.

Naturally, the brutally honest and hilarious way in which Cody’s writing brings this to life expresses the point so much better than my words ever could.

Bringing this all together is an amazing performance by Charlize Theron, who’s both hilarious and fearless in her depiction of Mavis; a woman who will stop at nothing to convince herself the man she thinks she still loves, loves her back the same way.

Yet it’s with a crippled man she barely remembers going to the same high school as, Matt, who is the only person Mavis seems able to have a genuine conversation with.

Probably because she doesn’t want anything from him, so she can just relax and be herself.

It’s funny how easy it is to forget who we are?

Of course, Young Adult is one film I won’t be forgetting.

Jonathan Campbell

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February 2012
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