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Young Adult

Young Adult

4.0 1
Director: Jason Reitman

Cast: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson


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Upon returning to her small Minnesota hometown to win back her high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson), now a happily-married father, divorced young adult fiction author Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) forges an unexpected bond with another former schoolmate (Patton Oswalt)


Upon returning to her small Minnesota hometown to win back her high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson), now a happily-married father, divorced young adult fiction author Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) forges an unexpected bond with another former schoolmate (Patton Oswalt) who's had a particularly difficult life. Juno collaborators Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody re-team for this Paramount Pictures production.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Charlize Theron plays a divorced fiction writer who returns to her hometown and is determined to seduce her former high-school boyfriend away from his wife and newborn in Young Adult, the second collaboration from director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody. And although Theron's troubled character seems to be stuck in a permanent state of arrested adolescence, the creative duo who scored a sleeper hit with Juno just four years ago show that they are maturing by presenting a story that never takes the easy way out, straddling the line between awkward laughs and uncomfortable satire while milking '90s nostalgia with near-fetishistic fervor. Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) may not be a household name, but the novels she writes sit on the bookshelves of teenagers all across America. The ghostwriter behind a successful series of tween tomes, Mavis just can't seem to summon the inspiration needed to bring the series to a close when she receives an invitation to a baby shower from Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson). Mavis and Buddy were inseparable back in high school, but now Buddy is married to Beth (Elizabeth Reaser). They've just had their first child and they want to celebrate the new arrival with friends and family. However, Mavis is convinced that she can sweep Buddy away from a drab life of breast milk and dirty diapers, and she returns home determined to make that happen. Shortly after arriving, Mavis has an unexpected reunion with Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt), the former high-school misfit best remembered as the victim of a vicious bullying incident. As Mavis plots to lure Buddy back to the big city, Matt attempts to convince her that it's wiser to live in the present rather than pine for the past. We've all known people like Mavis Gary -- those who measure their success by the distance they've put between themselves and their hometown, and their personal worth by the level of fame they've achieved compared to their former classmates. Driven characters are nothing new on the silver screen, but what makes Mavis a bit more compelling than many of her upwardly mobile counterparts is the attention to detail that Reitman and Cody put into depicting her. The once-popular series of tween books ghostwritten by Mavis are nearing the end of their run, eclipsed by the current flavor of the month, which leaves her uncertain of her future in fiction. From the moment we first meet Mavis her desperation is palpable, and Theron brings the subtle details of her troubled state to the surface with a skill that allows us to relate to the character, even if it's impossible to sympathize with her. As a result, Young Adult constantly straddles a fine line between tragic and humorous that may prove off-putting to casual viewers. Those capable of savoring the film's sweet-and-sour tone, however, won't necessarily mind the fact that the protagonist is the least-likable person in the film. Though few of the supporting characters get substantial screen time, Patton Oswalt stands out in his role as a bullied former classmate who strikes up an unlikely, somewhat contentious friendship with Mavis, and a climactic scene with his character's sister may be just the role to catapult Collette Wolf from bit player to featured performer. Yet despite the complex characters, insightful dialogue, and assured direction, Young Adult is so anchored in the 1990s that it's difficult to tell if its appeal will extend to viewers who didn't grow up on grunge. But if you've still got a tape deck in your car and a soft spot for Suede, odds are good that you'll find something to relate to. Over the course of his brief but impressive career behind the camera, Reitman has proven time and again that he can successfully maintain an uncomfortable, even dark tone while finding a balance between deeply personal drama and cutting satire. And by downplaying her highly stylized dialogue, Cody injects the story with more substance than her detractors may have thought possible. Watching Juno, it was easy to get the impression that one voice was driving all of the characters; in Young Adult, everyone has a distinct personality, and as a result, the drama resonates more effectively. The pop-culture snark is still present on the periphery, but in this case, it supports the story rather than acts as the foundation it was built on.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
[Wide Screen, Color]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Closed Caption; Filmmakers' commentary; The awful truth: deconstructing a scene; Deleted scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charlize Theron Mavis Gary
Patton Oswalt Matt Freehauf
Patrick Wilson Buddy Slade
Elizabeth Reaser Beth Slade
Collette Wolfe Sandra Freehauf
Jill Eikenberry Hedda Gary
Richard Bekins David Gary
Mary Beth Hurt Jan
Kate Nowlin Mary Ellen Trantowski
Jenny Dare Paulin Nipple Confusion Bassist
Rebecca Hart Nipple Confusion Bassist
Louisa Krause Front Desk Girl
Elizabeth Ward Land Sales Lady
Brian McElhaney Book Associate
Hettienne Park Vicki
John Forest Wheelchair Mike
Rightor Doyle Babysitter
Brady Smith Date Man
Timothy Young Champions Server
Erin Darke Teen Employee
Jee Young Han Teen Employee
Ella Rae Peck Girl
Aleisha Allen Girl
Matt Wilson Teenage Clerk
Orlagh Cassidy Party Guest
Charles Techman Parking Attendant
Emily Meade Denny's Waitress
Neil Hellegers Young Dad
Michael Nathanson Champions Greeter

Technical Credits
Jason Reitman Director,Producer
Michael Ahern Art Director
Jason Blumenfeld Associate Producer,Asst. Director
Diablo Cody Producer,Screenwriter
Linda Cohen Musical Direction/Supervision
Suzanne Smith Crowley Casting
Helen Estabrook Executive Producer
Dana E. Glauberman Editor
Lianne Halfon Producer
Ken Ishii Sound Mixer
Nathan Kahane Executive Producer
Jessica Kelly Casting
Rolfe Kent Score Composer
Beth Kono Co-producer
Kelli Konop Co-producer
Mary Lee Co-producer
John Malkovich Executive Producer
Mason Novick Producer
Steven Rales Executive Producer
David Robinson Costumes/Costume Designer
Russell Smith Producer
Eric Steelberg Cinematographer
Kevin Thompson Production Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Young Adult
1. Scene 1 [6:12]
2. Scene 2 [4:58]
3. Scene 3 [5:38]
4. Scene 4 [7:36]
5. Scene 5 [7:46]
6. Scene 6 [6:47]
7. Scene 7 [3:40]
8. Scene 8 [7:17]
9. Scene 9 [5:23]
10. Scene 10 [6:15]
11. Scene 11 [5:03]
12. Scene 12 [5:25]
13. Scene 13 [4:14]
14. Scene 14 [5:17]
15. Scene 15 [4:53]
16. Scene 16 [2:14]
17. Scene 17 [4:48]


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Young Adult 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Nadina85 More than 1 year ago
Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody return with a vengeance with their dramatic comedy, Young Adult. Mavis (Charlize Theron), a former “it” girl and successful YA author, is fresh off a divorce and looking to escape her stagnant city life. She heads to her small-town home with hopes of winning back an old high school flame (Patrick Wilson). Here’s the catch: he’s now married and father to a newborn. So what’s a successful girl to do? Throw in a home distillery, a disabled former classmate (Patton Oswalt), a manipulative plan and what do you get? A whole lot of soul-searching. It’s safe to say, I didn't expect Young Adult to be what it was. From the previews I was anticipating a comedic romp. Young Adult, however, is not that type of film.There are touches of comedy but it’s a darker humour that’s inspired more by a dramatic narrative. Cody is masterful at crafting a touching story and I think her writing resonatesbecause she creates such amazingly relatable characters. There is a realness to them and the desperate situations in which they find themselves. These aren’t your average stock character. Each is beautiful, funny, ugly and tragic in their own way. I liked them, I hated them and empathized with them all and that’s what made this movie so memorable.Mavis was that perfect girl in high school, you know the type—the one that all the guys wanted to be with and all the girls wanted to be. To the townies she’s a successful hot-shot living the royal life in the big city. Almost immediately we learn appearances aren’t always what they seem. Mavis has become a neurotic egoist struggling to cope with a crumbling life and dwindling fame. She lacks any sort of moral compass and quickly crosses the line into shallow when she plots stealing her ex. It quickly becomes clear that Mavis has some serious personal issues. Charlize Theron has totally outdone herself and created nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece playing the anti-heroine. She's brilliant at bringing both the depth and range needed to play such a messed up individual. Not many people could pull off this type of role so successfully. The subtle nuances of her performance had me completely riveted and still rooting for Mavis despite how unlikable she is. Matt is the only reasonable person that Mavis hooks up with. In high school he was bullied and abused by people in the popular crowd, and though still bitter, manages to have a firm hold on who he is and what he wants. He is the only one who’s not blinded by Mavis’ fame and doesn’t hold back when trying to bring her back down to reality. In short, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Matt. He’s a pawn that people push around both physically and emotionally and he bears the scars to prove it. Mavis uses him for her own selfish reasons, yet you admire the sense of inner strength he’s gained because of it. He’s somewhat of a dorky character who carries his own personal demons but is altogether still loveable. Oswalt did a phenomenal job conveying the loneliness and wit needed for such a role. He’s the most likable person in the entire movie and I spent the whole time wishing I could give him a hug. I won’t spoil the ending, but believe me, it left me wondering—do people ever really change? We’re not necessarily given the happiest of conclusions but at least it’s a brutally honest one. Reitman, once again, has done wonders at making supremely complicated people seem so utterly fascinating with appropriately timed comedy and engaging dialogue.