Movie Review: Adventureland
Young love is ready to bloom! | Photo courtesy of Miramax
After more than a decade in the wilderness following his fine 1996 debut, The Daytrippers, director Greg Mottola roared back into public consciousness in 2007 with the wonderfully foul Superbad. His follow-up to that, Adventureland, is a much gentler work that should cement his position as a sought-after director for years to come. Based on Motttola's teenage experiences working at an amusement park in the 80s, the film is a wonderful conflation of two disparate genres: daffy comedy and genuinely affecting coming of age flick.
Jesse Eisenberg stars as James, a smart, awkward and -- importantly -- virginal teenager forced to work a summer job to pay for college. His violent neighbor Tommy (a brilliant Matt Bush) gets him on at the local amusement park and quickly the adventure begins. James meets a rogues gallery of characters on the job: his manic bosses (Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig), his best friend (Martin Starr), a philandering handyman (Ryan Reynolds), an unattainable babe (Margarita Levieva) and, of course, the love of his young life (Kristen Stewart).