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Youth in Revolt

A 2010 American film adaptation of C.D. Payne's novel of the same name.

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Michael Cera Plays More Than Just Michael Cera in Humorous New Film

  • Feb 4, 2010
  • by

Michael Cera is a smart, funny, slightly awkward young man.  I know this because every role he has ever played has reinforced this knowledge.  Like Christopher Walken before him he excells at playing versions of himself.  And he does the same in Miguel Arteta's film "Youth in Revolt," adapted from the novel of the same name by C.D. Payne.  But part way through the film something very interesting happens, Nick Twisp (Cera) creates a 'don't give a damn' alter ego named Francois Dillinger (also Cera) who smokes, rebels against authority, and perhaps most telling of all has a moustache.  This alter ego leads our hero through all manner of misadventures and side quests, all in an attempt to win love.

The film moves beyond the average teen trying to lose his virginity romp with the help of its amazing supporting cast.  Featuring the routinely great Steve Buscemi & Fred Willard as Nick's dad & neighbor respctively one would expect a certain level of quality, but then one realizes that they are just two amongst a cast of dozens of great characters the movie has to offer.  Every subordinate character is great, from Zach Galifianakis to Ray Liotta, to what may be Justin Long's funniest role ever.  And the first timers and up and commers are just as good, with Erik Knudsen and Adhir Kalyan putting in short but very memorable scenes. 

The constant revolving door of side characters for Cera to play against does the film a favor and keeps things fresh and interesting but only Cera and Portia Doubleday, as his rebellious Francophile love interest, are constant characters, everyone else moves in and out of the film.  But I found myself looking forward most to the scenes with Doubleday, a great force in this film, she is funny, witty and smart, exactly the sort of woman the type of young man Cera represents loves so much.  The casting choices makes this film, with each actor giving a fantastic performance and what could have been just another Cera being Cera vehicle turns into a very nice little comedy.  The film looks good, is tightly scripted and wraps up in a brisk 90 minutes, definitely recommended for anyone who likes Michael Cera and the dry and informed humor for which he is known.

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February 04, 2010
Ooooh, I'm a big Michael Cera fan, and I heard that the book version was good, too, so I'll be checking it out.  Thanks for sharing, Justin!

By the way, did you see Michael Cera's stint with the Jersey Shore gang?  Too funny!  I have the video in my review :)
February 04, 2010
I have not seen this yet but I think that this might be a little too much R rated for my daughter. Nice job on the review though.
More Youth in Revolt (movie) reviews
review by . June 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****       I'm beginning to admire Miguel Arteta more and more as I see more of his feature films. Maybe I like the guy because he crafts comedies as few other genre directors can. He's something special, for sure, and he often gets a boost from his nicely-picked screen-writers. I liked Arteta's film "Youth in Revolt" because it has Arteta written all over it. It's a funny, often clever and sly, and sometimes whimsical coming-of-age comedy that may not rank …
review by . January 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
In 1993 C.D. Payne wrote a Young Adult Novel called Youth in Revolt about a teenager named Nick Twisp.  It was a series that was eventually split into six books.  The first three were compressed together to form an epic novel that was simply called "Youth in Revolt."  It's those three books combined that this movie is based off of.  The book itself is a cult classic.  With an interesting character in Nick Twisp.  He may not be that believable but he is likeable …
Quick Tip by . July 30, 2010
The movie did a good job using the various plot elements found in the book and shortening it to the good parts. It's good, but be prepared for some crude and filthy language.
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
You might see Youth in Revolt as a coming of age story of sorts, but much of it whips by so fast that we hardly see just how the characters change. Near the end especially it's just not convincing enough just how Nick and Sheeni enjoy their moment together because just a couple of scenes before there's a huge ounce of drama where the characters find out one of the things Nick has done, and they get mad at him. Yet mere minutes later all is forgiven without much explanation at all. This is what makes …
Quick Tip by . June 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
prepare yourself for a movie that's kind of random, sort of in a good way, though not with much of a point. it's reasonably entertaining and will hold your interest most of the way through. also be prepared to watch this kid play the same role he's done in every other film : / it'll put you in the mood to watch a real film that used this device successfully... i.e. Fight Club.
review by . January 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Your enjoyment of YOUTH IN REVOLT will mostly directly correlate to a) how much you like Michael Cera's "signature" film persona & b) how anxious you are to see him try something else.    Whether he's Nick in NICK & NORA'S INFINITE PLAYLIST, George Michael in ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT or the guy in SUPERBAD or the caveman guy in YEAR ONE...Cera mostly gives one performance, that is only modulated by as little as he can get away with. (Let me be clear...when he's modulated his performance …
Quick Tip by . January 14, 2010
YOUTH IN REVOLT is Michael Cera's first serious play for progress in his career and he does not disappoint.
About the reviewer
Justin Freiberg ()
Ranked #531
I love art, all forms of art. Be they painting or film or literature or dance or scotch Ilove all the beauty that man has brought forth on this planet, from the earliest cave drawings to thepure blinding … more
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Michael Cera adds to his collection of quick-witted young men with his portrayal of 16-year-old Nick Twisp. Born on the trashy side of the Oakland tracks, Nick hates his name almost as much as his life. Everyone he knows, including his divorced parents (Jean Smart and Steve Buscemi), gets more action than he does, but his luck changes when he meets junior femme fatale Sheeni (Portia Doubleday) during a trailer-park vacation. She may have overprotective parents (Mary Kay Place and M. Emmet Walsh) and a boyfriend back at school, but she also likes Jean-Paul Belmondo movies, Serge Gainsbourg records--and Nick. There's just one hitch--she prefers bad boys, so Nick creates cynical, cigarette-smoking alter ego François Dillinger to win her heart (just as musician Gainsbourg created devilish doppelgänger Gainsbarre). Little does Nick know he's playing with fire--literally--since François gives him license to set his pent-up inhibitions free: he sneaks into Sheeni's private-school dorm, blows up his mother's boyfriend's car (Zach Galifianakis as the boyfriend), and trips on magic mushrooms with Sheeni's burnout brother and a radical family friend (Justin Long and Fred Willard, both hilarious). As withChuck and BuckandThe Good Girl, Miguel Arteta's adaptation of C.D. Payne's young adult series offers equal parts sorrow and humor. The animated sequences add whimsy, but there's something more disturbing than romantic about ...
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Director: Miguel Arteta
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: January 8, 2010
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2010
Runtime: 90 minutes
Studio: Permut
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