Film Review – Adventureland

Adventureland stars Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, Bill Hader, Martin Starr and Ryan Reynolds and is set away back in 1987. Its set just before that year’s stock market crash and James (Eisenberg) a recent school graduate now preparing (as well asking for more money) to conquer Europe (and loose his virginity) with his friend before heading to New York City to an Ivy league school. James is brought down to earth when his wilted alcoholic father is demoted from his job and the Euro dream is over and now is forced to stay with his parents in their Pittsburgh home.

James must find a job pay for his upcoming expenses and finds the elusive job in a dreary amusement park in his home town called Adventureland. The park is full of strange and sometimes eccentric characters from the park’s over the top owner Bobby(Bill Hader) who at times tried his best to be funny but wasn’t (though he did come out with a few good gtaglines), then there are a few others mmm how exciting!, James best friend at the park Joel(Martin Starr) who was at times the only one of the bunch who could crack a decent joke along with his suave charm.Mike (Ryan Reynolds) the parks engineer but spends more time chatting up young woman telling them about his adventures with Lou Reed and we nearly forgot there lovable Em (Kristen Stewart) and of course James falls for her but he doesnt have a scooby doo that she’s having a rough time.

What can see in this movie is the large amount of dysfunctional people we have here: Em a little older than James especially emotionally but in need of someone nurturing love rather than fooling around with Mike(well a lot of girls would gladly line up for a bit of hanky-panky with Mr Reynolds after getting his paps out in the proposal) who happens to be a married man with a troubled marriage so now there’s a shift from James to Mike and Em been the main focus of this movie.

Adventureland I wasn’t expecting that much, its a coming of age movie but I thought I would be able to relate a little with film as it was meant to be young people in late 1980’s well I was only a few years younger in 1987 than all the characters, but I could n’t really. I did connect with the fashion style which I had to laugh at as much of the 1980’s style is a lot of current trends: grungy but also loud & tarty. The music was excellent until they constantly played “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco and any sign left that I may actually like this went out the window.

This film was really slow like a tortoise running the 100metre sprint, I know this sounds silly and it was dark but I actually spent a lot of times staring at my watch wondering how much more do I need to suffer (someone walked out the movie after 40 minutes!). I wasn’t complaining too much as it was a freebie but watching this was like watching 15/16-year-olds sitting around old playgrounds with a bottle of Buckfast getting bored. Maybe I’m the wrong age or possible if my girlfriend was with me we may have enjoyed it better, who knows. So if you think not a lot happens in Inglorious Basterds well NOTHING happens in this.

The music and Martin Starr are the only reason it got 2 stars, maybe I’m too old to appreciate this movie (which is already out on DVD in the USA) or if I must follow everything with a connection to Twilight religiously then I may just have time for this other than that go see GI Joe.

★★ | Paul Devine

Comedy, Drama, Romance | USA, 2009 | 15 | 11th September 2009 (UK) |Lionsgate Films | Dir.Greg Mottola | Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, Martin Starr


This was originally posted at The Peoples Movies | 28th August 2009

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