Michael Cera is one of those actors that plays one type of role, and you can never tell if he’s a good actor or just being himself. Regardless, I’ve enjoyed his characters in movies and shows like, Arrested Development, Juno, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and This Is the End. I had heard good things about his performance in Youth in Revolt, so I decided to check it out.
Michael Cera plays Nick Twisp, your typical mild mannered, hopeless romantic teenager. Needless to say, Nick isn’t popular with the girls, but he dreams of better days ahead. Nick’s small town life and the lack of attention from either of his separated parents don’t promise to make this easy.
Nick has a stroke of luck when his mom’s boyfriend angers some navy men, and they have to go stay at his trailer till the heat blows over. At the trailer park, Nick meets Sheeni, the most perfect girl in the world, but as he’s going to leave again, she tells him he needs to be a bad boy to get kicked out of his home and be able to stay with her.
The story of the film is a pretty standard good guy goes bad to win over the heart of a girl. What sets this apart from others of the same type is it tone. This movie melds the coming to age/sex comedy genre with a Napoleon Dynamite sense of style and uniqueness.
A big thing that creates this tone is the way in which the characters talk to each other. Everyone in the film use grand technical phrases when expressing dramatic thoughts. It expresses how all of them are trapped in their own poetic worlds.
Another point of interest in the film is Nick’s creation of an alter ego that only he can see. This alter ego is also played by Michael Cera and adds depth to his role as it is Nick’s evil persona, hellbent on getting everything Nick desires.
My Favourites from the film: The cast is great. Michael Cera delivers on the promise of the duel roles. The supporting cast is also well chosen. Zach Galifianakis, Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Jade Fusco, and Ray Liotta all make great additions to the film. The dialogue is fun, and the film has some stand out stop motion animation sequences.
My Less enjoyed parts: Justin Long as Sheeni’s brother just feels pointless in the film, and he doesn’t do much. There were some points in the film where I wasn’t sure if much time was supposed to have passed or not which made me unsure of how fast the pacing of the story’s development was. The plot’s predictability due to it’s strict following of it’s genre’s structure wasn’t very good either.
My Recommendation: I’d say give it a try. While the story isn’t very original, the setting and style make it feel fresh. It’s funny, and definitely a great film for Michael Cera fans or fans of smaller comedies.