Thursday, April 9, 2009

Movie of the Month: Adventureland

Those of you that know my mantra--"I laughed, I cried, I lived"--for the post-movies reaction will probably not be surprised that I felt it last night when I saw Adventureland. The film was particularly apt for myself and my friend last night since we are both graduating in May and have summer jobs and plans for the fall but still find ourselves in this "existential" or rather mental confluence of emotions and desires. The film, by the director of Superbad, features James (Jesse Eisenberg) pursuing an unplanned summer job at Adventureland, an odd amusement park, in his home town of Pittsburgh. Needless to say, hijinks and romance ensue.

The reason I wanted to feature this as a movie of the month was more than just to draw your attention to. I see it continuing in a long tradition of films that sort of examine life in school and post-school. Of course, The Breakfast Club is an iconic film about high school and teenage life, and I would add that films like Fame and Center Stage offer similar versions for those artistically inclined. And of course, there are the gap movies about life in senior year and movements towards college like The Perfect Score and Can't Hardly Wait. Likewise, films like Real Genius might offer a sort of "life in college" view just like TV shows like Felicity and Greek attempt to show us different views of life.

My current stage of post-college, graduate school life, however, draws me towards films where academics and college graduates find themselves hurtled into the real world where things are so unsafe and unstable. My mind floats toward of film like Reality Bites, and I see Adventureland hovering into this genre of school angst, post-graduation anxiety about how life may or may not fit into the real world.

Anyways, I totally recommend the film, and I hope many people get a chance to see. It had the right percentage of comedy, drama/sadness, and intellectual push to make it a good movie. I was happy to see all of the actors in the film because they did such a good job. Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, who plays a girl at the park, have these brilliant expressions throughout the movie that convey these moments of desire and anguish. The film also had some great input by characters like Martin Starr, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wigg, and Bill Hader. Not to mention that fact that since the show is set in 1987 there was some pretty awesome music. Rock me, Amadeus. Amadeus.

1 comment:

LT said...

awesome! I'm glad you liked it! Nick did too, so I'll have to check it out whenever I get another free moment! I didn't really have too high expectations for it, so I'm glad to hear good reviews.