Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart are appealing and fun in director Greg Mottola's semi-autobiographical Adventureland, an enjoyable little tale about a young guy's summer job at a local amusement park. Most people will be able to relate to this film... after all, haven't we all had that really crappy summer job where the only saving graces were the memorable people and after-work experiences that crossed our path because of the connections we made at the job?
While the film goes down easy, I appreciated its emotional complexity. In particular, there's a special effort in the film to keep the characters from being too predictable and one-note: Everyone seems to have good and less-than-good qualities, and act in both stable and not-so-stable ways. For the most part, the characters use their particular strengths to help out other characters who don't have those same strengths.
Adventureland is recommended to those who enjoy understated, indie-style dramas that aren't heavy on simple answers and broad set-pieces. It's a nice little tale with a handful of funny moments that should satisfy most people looking for a thoughtful, entertaining evening of home viewing. There's even a little romance.
The movie looked and sounded fine on the standard DVD I watched, which also featured a small handful of interesting extras.