In 1987, James Brennan's dreams of a summer European tour before studying at an Ivy League school in New York City are ruined after his parents have a severe career setback. As a result, James must get a summer job to cover his upcoming expenses at the decrepit local amusement park, Adventureland, where he falls in love with a witty co-worker, Emily Lewin. In that bizarrely shady workplace, the young carnies have unforgettable and painful learning experiences about life, love and trust while James discovers what he truly values.
Adventureland, a Mr. E Movie Review
(Run time: 107 min. - Directed by: Greg Mottola - Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kelsey Ford, Michael Zegen, Kristen Stewart)
Adventureland is that movie that reminds you of your first couple, crappy jobs. And true to the title a majority of the movie takes place at a rundown amusement park named Adventureland. As a nostalgic comedy set in the late eighty's Adventureland feels cool like Superbad but a little like Dazed and Confused. (Both of which were Awesome!) I really enjoyed this movie on a real cool level.
After an art major, played by Jesse Eisenberg, graduates from college he goes home and finds that not only is his summer graduation trip cancelled but his opportunity to go to graduate school in jepordy all because his dad has been demoted.To save himself he's forced to take an end of the line job at the Adventureland amusement park. There he's assigned to monitor the carnival games with all the flunkies.There he meets the girl of his dreams, played by Twilight star Kristen Stewart, after almost getting knifed for a giant stuffed panda. Her guy-on-the-side is Ryan Reynolds who plays the parks handy man and ultimate cool guy. After a sexless summer of uneventful work and joint smoking, our graduate's problems just keep coming after a little fender bender cost him big and his last chance friend changes his mind. (Not to mention what happens when the secret his new love interest has been keeping is revealed!)
There were quite a few funny parts, but mostly slacker humor. Which is cool. It's a smart and entertaining movie that when you add in the weed smoke and the flash back to the eighties styles and you've got a movie that'll take anyone over 30 back to a not-so-cool-but-still-kinda-cool time.
I recommend this movie to anyone over 16 for the humor but really recommend it to the over 30 crowd for the above mentioned nostalgic reasons. Check it out, its cool.
At The Movies
Adventureland (PG) * * *
By ROBERT WALDMAN
Getting that first job is a big deal for kids. Come to think of it, finding work in todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s climate is a daunting task for everyone, no matter what the age. Out to earn some money is but one of the problems confronting a young teen in Adventureland, a wry tale of coming of age from Maple Pictures now touching audiences at Tinseltown (on Pender, free parking).
Summer is a time when kids try to get seasonal employment. James Brennan is a man on a mission. Wanting to go on a trip and then college this smart boy thought he had everything planned. Unforeseen events, however, derail JamesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ plans which see him landing a spot at the local amusement park, Adventureland.
Theme parks have been used as settings before, most notably the early Jodie Foster classic Carny. Here Jesse Eisenberg (Roger Dodger) shows his stuff as an easy going kid who has some difficulty making the transition to work. Trouble at home sort of pushed James out but once he joins the quirky characters on the midway he runs into even more problems.
Director Greg Mottola also wrote this story and casual observers may be a bit disappointed to learn that this movie isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t as over the top or flat out funny as his earlier effort, the chart topping Superbad, the film that made local boy Seth Rogen a superstar. During this 107 minute movie we get to see instead how a sensitive boy must come to terms with a job, girls, competition and lots of other real life situations.
Very smart writing makes Adventureland a better than average tale on romance. Relationships come in all shapes and sizes, just like human beings, and an interesting mix of people keep this film going at a nice pace. Cast as the girl who befriends James is TwilightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own Kirsten Stewart with Vancouver-born Ryan Reynolds (Van Wilder) offering some manly advice as one of the few adults on hand to tend to the park. Bill Hader, another Superbad veteran, is also engaging as the amusement park manager.
Good shots of games and rides and an overall effective use of the whole carnival atmosphere add to the appeal of this tale which really takes a hard look at young love and the various pitfalls always there to cloud things over. This film also does a good job exploring parenting issues as well as touching on bits of prejudice many of us would not necessarily confront head on.
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This movie surprised me in several ways. At first I thought I was going to another "Superbad" because the same makers did this film. While I didn't get that bathroom humor I was expecting, I did get a sweet little well made story thats funny in a different way. This kind of thing has been done before. You know, the nerdy teenager falls in love with a cute girl who is from the other side of the tracks. Both have boring parents that don't understand them, so they make there own rules as long as they can get away with it. Throw in another hottie that threatens to break up their relationship. Blah. Blah. Blah. What sets this apart is the wonderful young cast. It seems the producers have a knack for this. (It worked in "Superbad" as well") A great date movie well worth the admission.