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The West Wing
Directed by Greg Mottola
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Bill Hader, and Ryan Reynolds
Review by Andrea Frye
After his parents financial situation plummets and his summer plans of a European tour fall to pieces, recent college graduate James Brenner, is forced to take a job at the local theme park/carnival, Adventureland, where he meets some pretty unexpected characters and finds out that he is in for more than just a rollercoaster ride.
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When you hear the name Greg Mottola you think Superbad and teens running around town to find alcohol for a party. You think of the catchy names like McLoviní and of the comedy that you know will shortly follow after that title flashes on the screen. But Greg Mottola takes a little different approach this time in his new movie, Adventureland, where his characters have aged from high scholars to college adults, but have they really matured? Are the issues they face more complex? Does any of it even matter? That I leave up to the audience.
While Adventureland does have a different vibe than Mottolaís previous work, fans will not be disappointed. Film goers will still find the humor in everyday situations and characters, often ones like us or our friends, and they will also hear the great lines that will surly cause everyone in the theater to crack up in laughter, I know mine did.
Although the movie may be targeted to young adults and teens it isnít dumbed down to make it more relatable. It isnít two hours of simple or stupid humor than many people think the genre of comedy has turned into. In fact, the story focuses on more complex issues such as the effects of drugs and alcohol, the relationships between parents and children, especially those in non nuclear families, gender, and religion. But donít go to the theater thinking that you are going to see some kind of social commentary on the lives of college students, because you wonít. Sure itís there, but itís under the real reason why we all bought our tickets in the first place: we wanted a good laugh.
Sure, at first the movie seems like every other comedy youíve seen where a nerdy guy who totally lacks romantic skills comes into his own as a man, but that isnít the whole story. The story is just as much about Em (Kristen Stewart) and her issues as it is about James (Jesse Eisenberg) and his development. Whereas Em is the more experienced woman who grabs Jamesí attention and helps him mature socially and sexually, Em finally gets to meet a ďgood guyĒ who she could truly see herself with instead of the scumbags of her past. With James, Em is able to turn away from the instability of her home life and finally put some good back into her life.
So while the end of the film may be predictable (you can guess for yourself), you have to think about the ending in the eyes of both the main characters. Donít just think about James, think about Em too and her own personal development, just donít think too hard. Enjoy yourself. Sit back relax and get ready to let out bursts of laughter. Adventureland is a great movie for those just looking for a good time, an escape from their own problems, and the chance to laugh at everyone elseís, just donít expect anything too serious, too dramatic, or too deep. If thatís what your looking for you might want to try another theater.