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A movie released April 03, 2009

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  • Jan 19, 2011
  • by
After watching Adventureland's promotional trailer many moons ago, nothing more was expected than a sex crazed comedic film based around an amusement park. But it isn't. Jesse Eisenburg, who plays James Brennan, maybe perceived as a Michael Cera clone, created from a factory that dispenses awkward teenagers desperately seeking to lose their virginity. But he isn't. Adventureland is a coming of age tale that is supported by deftly sculpted characters directed by Greg Mottola, director of Superbad. An overall relatable atmosphere is created by the film's utilization of flawed characters in front of a regular town landscape. It manages to play the audience's heart strings like a gentle harp. 

Jesse Eisenburg is awkward, lanky guy who utters his words at velocity of bullets. Sure, Michael Cera is also an awkward fellow who speaks rapidly, but the nature of their characters are different. Meanwhile, Cera follows a monotonous cycle in which he plays a sexually inexperienced teenager seeking to lose his virginity. Innocence is key to both of these character's personalities, but Cera seems to be stuck playing the same type of character every film. Eisenburg's character contains more depth than Cera's. While it's true that Cera could easily take on Eisenburg's role in Adventureland, its beyond that notion. Eisenberg continually pursues a variety of roles that take him out of the love seeking guppy stereotype. He is capable of using the superior intelligence, which is also accessible to Cera's character, and takes in into darker territories as demonstrated in The Social Network. Eisenburg isn't shy to break away from the nice guy persona that Cera has yet to venture out of. These two actors are talented in their own right, but their overwhelming similarities make it nearly impossible to mention one without thinking about the other. 

As a 22 year old virgin, Eisenburg's character, James, isn't stressed about the public's perception of him. His primary focus isn't the actual act of "intercourse", a word used awkwardly by James; its the actual feeling of love. In a tender moment where James openly states his lack of sexual experience to Emily (Kristin Stewart), his main love interest, their isn't a sense of embarrassment or shame in his tone. After his parent's financial problems which cause them to renege on their promise to send him to Europe, James meets Emily at Adventureland, an amusement park where is he forced to work at in order to attend NYU in the fall, during the summer of 1987. Emily is seen as the antithesis of James' character. She comes from an affluent background that lacks the proper nurturing that she desires. After her mother's tragic bout with cancer, Emily is forced to put up with her insensitive stepmother and an uncaring father. On top of that she's sexually active and having an affair with married, park technician Mike Connell (Ryan Reynolds). As time progresses, Emily and James' love for each other grows to the point where Emily is unable to tolerate herself for the ongoing affair. 

The film employs great pacing in depicting this coming of age love story, allowing character development to flourish. Although Em, or Emily, and Connell commit intolerable acts, it is impossible to completely hate them. James, the obvious protagonist, isn't completely a nice guy himself. After finding out about the affair,he acts like a jerk and reveals Em and Connell's sexual escapade to a co-worker who ultimately passes the information around like a viral infection. This creates a circumstance where empathy is felt for the Em and James, because at one point of our lives we have be cheated on and talked about. Adventureland doesn't rely on solidified good and bad guy roles; it creates a realistic environment with a comedic backdrop. Comedy is tastefully included by having SNL veterans Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig grace us with their comical presence. It is refreshing that the film contains subtle amounts of comedy, insuring that it won't overshadow the dramatic material. Adventureland is a great film for audiences older 17, who can truly understand the character's predicament. For the older audience, its 80's time frame will create a pleasant nostalgic experience of yesteryear. I absolutely reccomend this excellent coming of age film.


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More Adventureland reviews
review by . January 22, 2011
Listless teens of the 80's rejoice! Adventureland is a wonderful dramedy about coming-of-age set in a carnival. The two leading stars are the likeable Jesse Eisenberg and the abhorrent Kristen Stewart, as well as supporting turns for Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. While it is more of a love story than a comedy, it is still quite witty and it will please teenagers and adults alike, just like the consensus says. Adventureland is by no means the best movie I've seen, but its definitely …
review by . August 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I came into this movie with low expectations... it was my wife's turn to pick and usually the movies she picks are god awful and this seemed like it would just be another movie about whiny teenagers and their non-existent problems. I was kind of right, it was about whiny young adults and their problems that are much more real. It is about the kid from Zombieland after just graduating from college and being dumped by his girlfriend ready to move on with his life only to find out due to a change …
review by . June 19, 2010
The Adventure of Youth
Without the benefit (or detriment, depending on your angle) of having seen any flashy previews for Greg Mottola's Adventureland, I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. My date was going on my word that it would be good, and I was going on a glowing review in the Buffalo News, a typically unreliable source as far as I’m concerned. But still, I had faith. And for once, praise God, I was not short-changed in any way.      Adventureland …
review by . September 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
More drama than Comedy. But still enjoyable
   I watched this expecting a comedy but got a Teen Romance drama instead. While Adventureland has its moments I was a little dissapointed by the lack of funny. But not enough to not enjoy this movie.   When a collage graduate has to cancel his dream vacation and get a job at a tacky amusement park he slowly begins to realise that life has away of turning tge tables on you sometimes for the better.      The acting in Adventureland was top notch. By the middle …
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Really didn't like.
review by . April 03, 2009
Pros: Good cast and premise.     Cons: Ending was a bit to open for me.     The Bottom Line: An enjoyable mix of romance and comedy.     The summer of 1987 holds some special memories for me as that was the year that I graduated from high school and set about my college studies. In the summer before the start of classes, I had to learn to manage finances, become independent as much as I could and that relationships in the real world are …
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Adventureland is a 2009 comedy-drama written and directed by Greg Mottola, director of Superbad.  It's a winning look at the pleasures and frustrations of dead-end jobs and teenage kicks as viewed through a filter of mid-‘80s pop culture. The underutilized and always watchable Jesse Eisenberg is a sheltered, introspective New York college grad who discovers that his parents’ financial woes will not only quash his dream of a summer in Europe but require a move to Pittsburgh, where he lands a job at a dilapidated amusement park. There, he’s thrown in with a motley crew of eccentrics, small-town types and a few genuine free spirits, most notably co-worker Em, whose complicated past proves irresistible to his repressed psyche.
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Director: Greg Mottola
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: April 03, 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 1hr 46min
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