Youth in Revolt
Starring Michael Cera,
Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart,
Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Justin Long
Directed by Miguel Arteta
We have abducted your film critic. We did so because we knew that he would find lots of faults with Youth in Revolt. He finds fault with pretty much everything he reviews, uh, that is, when we even bother to read his drivel at all.
No doubt he would have said that this film was akin to Play It Again, Sam, the Woody Allen film where Bogart helps Woody’s nebbish character get the girl. Here, the lead character, who is similarly meek and dweeby, conjures a suave, macho, strong alter-ego to help him lose his virginity. In this alter ego sense, he might even allege that it’s like Fight Club, only tamer, in that his alter-ego has him do some “outlandish” things, or like Adaptation, only less cerebral, as he similarly tussels with his doppelganger.
Then, your critic would note how it is also like all of the recent teen-angst films where an oversexed geek struggles to get the girl of his dreams and faces all sorts of indignities in the process, while all the adults are seen as freakazoids and goof-balls.
Unlike your critic, however, we have the guts to admit that we found it charming and sweet and diverting. So, we took this opportunity to tell it like it is and muzzled your snarky film critic.
If you want him back — and we are unsure why you would — please go out and see Youth in Revolt. Make it a bigger box office smash than Avatar. Then, be sure to send in lots of letters to the editor to this publication questioning its critic’s bona fides (as well as his heritage). Feel free to sprinkle it with epithets. That always helps garner attention.
We will be watching.
Doug Young is The Statesman’s award-winning film critic. He also works for Sen. Mark Udall as an environmental policy adviser.