Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Adventureland

Adventureland
 
 
 
 

Review by Matthew Frendo

Greg Mottola's last venture into film was the much-loved, profanity-ridden Superbad.  If you liked that movie...well...there's no guarantee you will like this masterpiece, as it is not even similar.  If, however, you like your films intelligent, with nuanced and layered performances, give this slice of life a try.

The story follows James, who is a recent college graduate trying to find a job with no luck during the summer of 1987.  He takes a menial job at a local amusement park to make ends meet... and there is where his real world education begins.  There are a few things that could be spoiled, so I'll be keeping the synopsis down to a minimum.  Basically, he meets a girl who he develops interest in (played by Kristin Stewart, who is so good that it almost makes me want to watch Twilight), finds some friends to hang out with (including Martin Starr from TV's Freaks and Geeks, and most other Judd Apatow films), and finds a mentor of sorts in the park's handyman (played by Ryan Reynolds, doing well in a more serious role).

What really sets Adventureland apart is that the lessons learned are real life lessons, not "Hollywood" lessons.  James learns, among other things, that there is no perfect person, or relationship, but just people, all of whom have flaws and fears of their own.  This, as well as others, are real life lessons that many do learn either in, or after, college.  

I  guess what sets it apart can be stated in one word: sincerity.  And I can't think of a better note to leave on...

5 / 5 stars

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