Movie Review: Youth in Revolt

12 Jan

Youth in Revolt tells the story of Nick Twisp, played by Michael Cera, a unique, but affable teen with a taste for the finer things in life like Sinatra and Fellini; even his dialogue is noticeably more intelligent than anyone else in the film, except one girl. The beautiful, free-spirited Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday). But family, location, and jealous ex-lovers conspire to keep these two apart. With Sheeni’s encouragement, Nick abandons his dull, predictable life and develops a rebellious alter ego: Francois Dillinger. With his ascot, mustache, and cigarette, Francois will stop at nothing to be with Sheeni, and leads Nick Twisp on a path of destruction with unpredictable and insane consequences.

Before even going into this film, I had high expectations. I love Michael Cera, or used to love Cera – until I realized he really only plays one role over and over again. While the innocent, socially awkward, timid Cera is hilarious, I wanted to see him in a different role. Youth in Revolt gave me hope – Cera would be playing split personalities, one of which was completely opposite of anything Cera had done before.

More after the jump!

The movie starts with Nick not being able to find anyone who will love him and generally showing how miserable his life really is. His Mom is constantly on the prowl for a new man in her life, only to be let down every time, the first man we see in her life is Zach Galifianakis, who was not in the movie for more than 10 total minutes of screen time (too little in my opinion). They move up to a lake for a week or so, where Nick meets Sheeni. Sheeni talks just like him, acts like him, and is interested in just about everything else he is – they are perfect together.

The movie definitely had funny parts – however I often found myself only chuckling or smiling, never laughing uncontrollably by any means. I was often annoyed by Cera’s tone of voice in the narration throughout the film. A monotonous voice that made me depressed for him. That being said, the interaction between Cera’s split personalities was the best part of the film.

he alter-ego Francois was played amazingly by Cera. You begin to actually think it is actually two people. His look, style, demeanor, and lines all were done to perfection. I was waiting through the first 30 minutes or so of the film to see Francois, and found myself just waiting for him to come back into every scene. However, Cera literally had the exact same wardrobe as Superbad and Nick and Norah. Can this kid wear anything else? And what year was this movie taking place – the ’70’s?

A role not even mentioned in the trailer that stuck out to me was Justin Long, who played Sheeni’s drugged out older brother. He had some of the funniest lines in the movie – his character is hard to describe, you’ll understand when you see it, Long did a great job, from wardrobe to just the facial expressions. With so many cameos coming in and out of this film, I expected to see Jonah Hill (but he never came). Sheeni’s ex-lover is also a great character, he plays the role of the jealous ex perfectly.

Youth in Revolt also featured two montage scenes that used stop motion and drawings. The stop motion scene was really cool and an unexpected present in the film. Instead of showing a typical montage of a car on a road trip, director Miguel Arteta chose a stop motion scene that was very well done. The other was a bit more awkward. Trying not to reveal anything, it involved sexual drawings, that’s all I’ll say.Overall Youth in Revolt was a very entertaining movie, the comedy was fresh and the visuals at times very different (in a good way). I was a little disappointed to see Cera once again playing the innocent teen, however the alter-ego of Francois made up for that. The supporting cast was also great and helped the film. Youth in Revolt was good, but not great though. It has laughs and will entertain, but I found myself feeling as if I had seen it done before.

Kibitzers Rating: 6.5 out of 10. In my opinion, you should wait for this one to come out on DVD and rent it.

UPDATE: Sound like a typical Michael Cera movie? Huffington Post has their own chart to follow to make your own! (Thanks Jeff)

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5 Responses to “Movie Review: Youth in Revolt”

  1. Koo January 12, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    That’s Michael Cera for you!!

  2. T.Kindred January 12, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Nice review! But in all seriousness, do you really think Cera is capable of playing anything else? Francois was a semi-nice departure but I think he is pretty much typecasted.

    • Ghudson January 12, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

      I totally agree, will be type-casted for the rest of his life. At least he is going back to his roots with the Arrested Development movie! Thanks for the comment!

  3. The Professor January 13, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    great review! i’d been thinking about seeing the film, but i think i will wait for the DVD. i wish i had followed that advice for “sherlock holmes”…

  4. Ribs January 17, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    Yeah, this probably is better for DVD. But if you are a big Cera fan you definitely need to see it: http://ribsramblings.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/ribs-reviews-youth-in-revolt/

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