Quirky. Offbeat. Irregular boners. Just three of the notes that were written down after watching the new Michael Cera film, “Youth in Revolt.”

Now let me start this little crank yanker out by saying that I am no fanboy of Michael Cera. You hear that?! I AM NO FANBOY OF MICHAEL CERA. Since some people will accuse me of that anyway, let me illustrate further.

Michael Cera. I. Do. Not. Want. Your. Babies.

That being said, I still think he can be a fine actor when he wants to be (case in point: Juno, Superbad) but there are times when it feels like he’s just phoning in the typical awkward performance (Year One).

So, the plot.

Basically, a socially awkward virginal teen (here we go) named Nick Twisp (Cera) travels with his mom (Jean Smart) and her boyfriend, Jerry (the great Zach Galifianakis) to a “nice log cabin” in order to escape some sailors who are slightly perturbed, shall we say, about buying a non-functional Chevy Nova from Jerry. While in the wilderness, he meets Sheeni Saunders (adorable newcomer Portia Doubleday), an intellectual and interesting girl who actually takes notice in him and together, they have a bit of a summer fling. After that, the film takes a left turn into oddsville and doesn’t look back.

Now I’m not saying the movie is hard to follow or anything. Far from it. But it does make some strange choices at times that you just kind of have to ask yourself, “What were these people smoking?” and “Where can I get some of it?”

The movie is a lot of fun though quite honestly and sports some good performances. Michael Cera as the lead, in particular, delivers one of his strongest performances in a dual role as himself and his evil self (particularly, anything “Francois” says made me spit my pop up). Portia Doubleday is very convincing and cute as a button as the girl of his dreams. Mary Kay Place and M. Emmet Walsh (Teenyboppers: Who are they?! Are they in ‘Twilight’?!?) are really entertaining as her strict parents, particularly in one scene where they act completely different. You’ll know which one it is. There’s also some great small performances from Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long, Ray Liotta, Steve Buscemi, and Fred Willard (don’t worry, I’m not spoiling anything; they’re all listed in the opening credits). Most of those people have extended cameos, but they are fun nonetheless.

The story is pretty good and when it took a turn to the nastiness in the second half of the movie, it was definitely the strongest section. Michael Cera groupies, listen up. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill Cera vehicle. This is like a slightly less intense version of what Observe and Report was to Seth Rogen. It’s got plenty of dark humour, sick jokes, and good writing. Any movie that has Justin Long doing mushrooms with Fred Willard and a scene in which someone promises to tickle a girl’s belly button “from the inside” is A-OK with me.

And yes, I know the flick was based on a book. So, shut up.

Since a rating is attributed to everything these days, I give it:

7.5/10

Thoughts?

B

PS: Anyone who says Jesse Eisenberg is copying Michael Cera’s vocal patterns in his movies needs to be shot. Jesse has been doing that way before Cera was even in “Arrested Development”. That’s not a knock against Cera, just something I had to get off my chest.

Thoughts?

B

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Comments
  1. TheAbyss says:

    This review is just plain sad. The reviewer is obviously a Michael Cera fanboy. Why else would they go on and on about how they are “no fanboy of Michael Cera”. In denial much? And what is with that “Anyone who says Jesse Eisenberg is copying Michael Cera’s vocal patterns in his movies needs to be shot” comment? Sounds like someone might also have a fanboy crush on Eisneberg. Which can only mean that the reviewer is a teeny bopping lil’ emo girl who thinks dorks are sexy or a sexual confused manchild. Either way this review just reeks of fanboy lust.

  2. brenw23 says:

    Glad to know I have a fan! 🙂

  3. Twizted says:

    Good job. Needs to be a bit more in-depth though.

  4. brenw23 says:

    Yeah, well it’s my first so hopefully they’ll get better as I go! Thanks for the comment though!

  5. Ashley says:

    This is a good start, however I have a few points of constructive criticism for you:
    Firstly, I find this style to be too casual for a review. You definitely have a distinct voice, but you are a tad too frivolous with it for this purpose. Learn to catch yourself and really focus on making your paragraphs and sentences concise, even if it takes breaking up a longer sentence into two or more parts. This does not mean you have to sacrifice your voice- simply condense it.

    Secondly, did you make an outline for your review? This is absolutely essential to any great review. It creates for the reader a logical flow of questions and answers that the review should invoke. If you did make an outline, perhaps you should consider making subcategories for each point you bring up. Be specific, because it is easier to organize your review when it’s in point than it is to go through paragraphs, cutting and pasting.

    This part (“After that, the film takes a left turn into oddsville and doesn’t look back.”) sort of seems like a dead-end as far as plot goes. Not having seen the movie, the reader is not sure what type of conflict this will present, or why it will be worth watching. You do come back to it briefly, in the end, but this is confusing. Watch your transitions.

    Also, pay attention to your tone and to grammar. Your casual tone combined with the smallest of grammatical errors makes this seem more like an email to a friend than anything. This is definitely your weakest point. Fortunately, it is very easy to fix.

    Having said all that, if you simply make an awesome outline beforehand, stick to it, and maintain your distinct voice and tone (while paying close attention to grammar!) I would have no problem giving future reviews 5 stars.

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