Thursday, June 10, 2010

Youth in Revolt DVD



DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Casts Michael Cera Again as Terminally-Nerdy Teen


Baby-faced Michael Cera apparently has no problem being typecast as a terminally-nerdy teenager. Since appearing as an awkward geek in Superbad in 2007, we’ve seen him play slight variations of the same archetype in Juno, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Paper Heart, Year One and, now, Youth in Revolt.

Here, he’s Nick Twisp, a 16 year-old with raging hormones who’s obsessed with losing his virginity. How original! And the object of his injection is his proverbial girl next-door, Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday), the prettiest girl living in their seedy trailer park.

Worse than that stale premise, is the script’s stilted dialogue, which frequently sounds unnatural such as when Sheeni asks Nick to put some suntan lotion on her back: with “Would you mind applying this to my exposed areas?” Equally-annoying, are the colorful supporting characters displaying an array of increasingly bizarre behaviors, ranging from Sheeni’s uptight, Bible-thumping parents (M. Emmet Walsh and Mary Kay Place) to her rebellious big brother (Justin Long) whose idea of a practical joke is to lace Thanksgiving dinner with hallucinogenic mushrooms which cause their father to smear mashed potatoes on his own face.

Then there’s Nick’s sexaholic mother Estelle (Jean Smart) who gets over the death of her live-in, loser boyfriend (Zach Galifianakis) by seducing the police officer (Ray Liotta) sent to inform her that he’s just dropped dead of a heart attack in the supermarket. Additional madcap antics arrive courtesy of a menagerie rounded out by Nick’s cradle-robbing father (Steve Buscemi), his 20 year-old girlfriend (Ari Graynor) and a goofy neighbor (Fred Willard) thrown in for good measure.

An ill-conceived sketch flick which falls flat at every turn.


Poor (½ star)

Rated R for sexuality, profanity and drug use.

Running time: 89 Minutes

Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

DVD Extras: Deleted scenes, audition tapes, deleted and extended animation sequences, audio commentary by the director and Michael Cera, and Sony trailers.

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