Monday, March 16, 2009


The Lord saw Superbad and he said unto Director Greg Mottola:

"Thou canst do better, for a lot less money. You shall maketh another coming of age comedy. I shall taketh away Judd Apatow and the big studio money, but I shall giveth unto you these things:

That script with all the witty dialog, the one you wrote before you shot Superbad;

Jesse Eisenberg (great as a teen in The Squid And The Whale), the poor man's Michael Cera - Jesse may not be poor for long;

Kristen Stewart - by the way, Greg, thou art very lucky. Adventureland shall be Kristen's last low budget film as she is about to become Hollywood's only bankable female lead - for good reason. She will take a role that could be an overwrought trainwreck and play it so well that she keeps Adventureland on track - but next time thou shalt require her to participate more fully in the comedy that doth surround her;

Martin Starr (another Freaks and Geeks alum), because someone has to delivereth that witty dialog and this guy is perfect;
Bill Hader, because witty dialog alone doth not a comedy maketh, and this loaner from Saturday Night Live will keep things just light enough with some screwball stuff, including one scene with a baseball bat that works remarkably well;

A sound track that proveth there actually was (a little) acceptable music in 1987;

Kennywood Park, a location so nice that thou shalt struggle constantly to make it dumpy enough for your dream; and most importantly

The Last Pacer, that's Pacer as in American Motors fka Rambler.

With these things thou shalt make a funny, sometimes touching movie in which recent college grad James (Eisenberg) is forced to cancel his Summer in Europe and work the games booths at Adventureland to save money for Columbia Journalism school. Adventureland shall prove a real education. James, the 22 year old virgin (where is that Apatow guy when we really need him), shall fall hard for the beautiful Emily (Stewart), an NYU student and Adventureland veteran. James shall not understand that Emily is struggling with a secret bad boy lover (Ryan Reynolds who plays an interesting role understatedly), her mother's death, a wicked stepmother, and a weak father - yes that script with the witty dialog is a compilation of cliches, but thou shalt shoot it anyway and Stewart, Starr and Eisenberg shall make it work for you."

As Good As News won't argue with the Lord. Adventureland is often funny and sometimes touching, despite the cliches. The characters sometimes seem too old for their problems, but in other ways the movie is just in time. Russian Lit grads are going to work in amusement parks and layoffs are changing many grad school plans.

Worth seeing in the theater if you are in the mood for a comedy that's a little sappy. More than worthy of a rental. Last chance to see Kristen Stewart in a "small" picture. Well, not really. You can always rent The Cake Eaters, reviewed here.

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