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A movie released April 03, 2009

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The Adventure of Youth

  • Jun 19, 2010
  • by
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 is a really special movie. Instead of the bland teen-comedy my companion was clearly expecting, we were treated with a little piece of charming nostalgia.

The year is 1987, and James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) has just graduated from college. Financial difficulty forces James to put his plans to tour Europe on hold and get a summer job. The only place hiring, of course, is Adventureland, a crappy amusement park where James will learn more about life than his hefty Renaissance lit anthologies could ever teach him.

The reasons this movie works are many, but one biggie is the fact that it never resorts to irritating teen melodrama. It doesn’t pull any tasteless gags. It gives us young people in a way that they’re rarely portrayed on the big-screen: as real people. Not just poptarts looking to lose their virginity on prom night. But scared, vulnerable, vibrant kids who are figuring out life and like to smoke pot on occasion.

There is a sentimentality here that, thankfully, never gets too sticky-sweet. It’s the best sort of coming-of-age story. One that’s affectionate, delightful, and subtly funny. I left the theatre in very high spirits. And that is always a nice thing.
The Adventure of Youth

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review by . January 19, 2011
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 …
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 . 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 …
About the reviewer
lizzy ()
Ranked #289
I like beer, the shape of teapots, and kitschy diners. I tend to overuse commas. Piles of books can send my into a frenzy like nothing else.
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About this movie


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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