"Adventureland" is not a bad movie. It's just not a particularly good movie. It is a picture built on its leading characters' self discovery as they age toward some sense of maturation that still seems to be a fleeting concern.
Jesse Eisenberg is James Brennan, a young literature graduate accepted to the School of Journalism's Graduate School at Columbia University in this coming film set in 1987. His father, who appears to have a drinking problem, has lost his higher paying job, and now James' future is substantially unsettled. The boy was forced into the demeaning job of running the carnival games at a the titular local summer amusement park, Adventureland.
At Adventureland, James meets two cute girls, Kirsten Stewart as Emily Lewin and Margarita Levieva as Lisa P. and surprising does quite well with both, irrespective of the fact that he is a perpetual heavy, who talks too much and shakes his curls as he speaks. Both girls have their own family problems, but it is Emily's lot to be having sexual relations with a married man, who also works at the amusement park, Mike Connell, played by Ryan Reynolds. By the end of the movie, I really didn't care about any of the characters, which, by the way, was much too long at 107 minutes.
Kristen Wiig and Bill Hadder, Saturday Night Live alums, who are both pretty funny in their own right, are wasted as the manager couple of the Amusement Park, as is the versatile dramatic and comedic actor, Ryan Reynolds. Director and Writer Greg Mottola just could get a working formula for the picture to work, and it pretty much flopped from beginning to end.
I will have to hand it the director / writer for communicating one thing accurately: He succeeded in reminding me just how bad the music was in the 1980's, which predominated the scoring of this movie. Thankfully all beginnings must be endured until there is an ending and the ending was one that made me whimper a very weak cheer. The nerdish James Brennan finally got laid, and I finally got done with this picture. Between me and James, I do believe that I was got the best end of that bargain.
Rated R. Released on DVD August 25, 2009
This post appears courtesy of our sister site, Beaufort County NOW, with their expressed permission.