Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Young Adult

I don't particularly value film critics and I especially don't value film criticism. Having actual skin the game, I feel they don't benefit me personally, so I don't hold any illusions they benefit any other filmmakers. I'm not, therefore, going to offer ratings, anything beyond "see it" or "don't see it" but I caught a showing of Reitman's newest this evening and had thoughts.

Diablo Cody's third outing, (her second for me, since I haven't seen Jennifer's Body) and I was honestly underwhelmed. I'm probably more interested in character study than the next person, but I found myself bored a fair majority of the film – it had an extremely difficult time keeping my interest. To me, themes they were attempting to establish as central to the film's core didn't really appear until mid-way through the experience, when I'd more or less made my assumptions and judgments about the main players and their interactions. Rather than these ideas coming meaningfully to life, it felt as though a separate script was attempting to exert itself over the second half of the film. Beyond that, I couldn't shake the uncomfortable twinge of auto-biography, something confirmed by Cody herself. (I'm rarely a fan of such blatant parallelism.) I wouldn't call Young Adult a bad film; performances are solid (though I imagine a more nuanced actress like Louise-Parker could have handled the material better), direction was surprisingly straightforward and effective, but the screenplay, in the end, fell short. Worth watching.

I will say, as a final caveat, that my writing standards are unfairly high. I attempt to push myself to write things outside of my comfort zone and into new genres, so if anyone disagrees with me about anything writing-related, they're probably not wrong; I'm just opinionated.

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