review by Neo

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Year: 2009

Box Office: US$32.5 million

Director: Greg Mottola,

Producer: Sidney Kimmel, Anne Carey, Ted Hope,

Screenplay: Greg Mottola

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Martin Starr, Bill Hader,Kristen Wiig

Genre: Youth Romance

Tagline: Back to the 80s in a good way…

Review by Neo: Adventureland simply works because it is honest, believable, touching and earnestly frank film that never attempts to be pretentious. These kinds of films are rare and hard to come by, but director of Superbad hits all the right buttons to create something truly an experience to remember despite bringing nothing new on the table. There was once a saying, people do not remember time, but we remember the moments. It is the simple moments of cinematic magic that made the film work and it’s been a while coming since Hollywood goes real and quite satisfying it is.

The movie goes like this: Jesse Eisenberg plays a college graduate who is in the midst of a summer job at the local theme park. There Jesse meets a complicated, yet rich young girl (played by the elegant Kristen Steward who is a student from NYU. It is basically a story about two lost souls, bored to death of their summer job, bond together despite two beings from two very different worlds.

Kristen Stewart is definitely a real talent and while she is wasted away from the Twilight series, Stewart is stunning yet complicated here. She is not exactly what one would say outright beautiful, but there is something about her that “it” aspect that will ensure her route to stardom will work. There are moments in which Stewart manages to pull it off, such as the scene where she and Jesse first kisses, her moments with Ryan Reynolds and many others. In a matter of fact, despite being a supporting role to Jesse’s character, it is Stewart that made the film interesting and somehow even manages to make the audience feel for her becoming. Most certainly this is a bravo and potential filled display and one to watch for the future.

Jesse Eisenberg is the kind of guy that is rare nowadays, but I am sure there are still people like him. That is why director Greg Mottola made a smart decision to set the movie in the 80s, when life was slow and the rain was mellow. People aren’t totally technologically dependent and that is why the film worked. It is the simple things that matters and Jesse smartly underplays his character innocence and also the way he interacts with others is quite simply good acting. Perhaps the music also worked to a degree, but at the end of the day, it all goes down to the believable chemistry between Jesse and Kristen.

All in all, Adventureland is not going to split the world on fire with originality, but what it does is able to spark new life into an already cliché genre. The way director Greg Mottola handled the ending is something to be proud of. The rain drops, the persistence, the dialogue, the timing, the moments, are all reasons as to why the film ultimately leaves the audience on a satisfying note. Love is never straight forward and nothing is ever more intriguing to witness and experience than young love, as it is the times, when one another grow through these experiences, learn as it go and basically a work in progress and quite raw. Adventureland works by being taking the audience back to those tiny moments, those times when we were young and after all John Lennon is probably right when he say: Life is what happens, when you are busy making other plans … (Neo 2009)

I rate it 8/10

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