Writer & Director: Greg Mottola
Gross: $12 732 787 (as of April 16th, 2009)
i am a romantic at heart, and like to believe that even the unlikeliest couples can come together when they are meant for each other. however, is it just me or is it enough already with the shy-socially-awkward-guy-gets-the-hot-chick movies (or, as i like to call them, michael cera films)? i say that because that is not what Adventureland is, although based on the trailers that is what i was expecting. and, director greg mottola's last film, Superbad, starring one michael cera, was such a film (i really liked it though).
Adventureland is different. yes there is "the hot chick", in fact there are a couple, but jesse eisenberg's character, james, isn't the same old "michael cera". sure, he is a bit of a nerd and a little socially shy at times, but he is also kind of cool and gets along with the "cool kids" not because they feel sorry for him. you know what i mean? he provides the pot to the other employees and while he is shy to make that first move on the cute love interest (her name is em), when things do happen, it isn't all bumbling and embarrassingly cringe-worthy. basically he is a "shy nice guy" but not a total "awkward pushover". this may not seem like a very big distinction, but for me it really stood out and made the film that much more relateable and believable. i could actually see how em would be interested in him and the development of the relationship made sense.
you might also be thinking: "dude, its a teen drama/comedy, who cares about the realness of the potential relationship?" well, i do. the film is funny and there are some fun secondary characters and story lines, but the anchor of the film is em and james. would i have enjoyed it if he had been written all "michael cera". ya, probably, but not as much. although em's attraction to the "good guy" was believable, it wouldn't have been as much so had james not had some strength to his personality that the "michael cera" persona doesn't have...
sidenote: i don't want to completely dismiss the "michael cera" character. like i said before, i liked super bad a lot - but the secondary story lines were more prevalent- and i loved Juno (second best film of the year in 2007) - but in that one junos character was believable in her fondness for cera -... (i haven't seen Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist so i can't comment on that one)
The film is touching and funny and has some great 80s music throughout so whether you go see it for the smart and funny and enjoyable film it is or just to hear falco's "Rock Me Amadeus" a bunch of times, you won't be disappointed.