Dopo gli exploit di Thank you for smoking, Juno e Tra le nuvole, Jason Reitman ritorna a lavorare con Diablo Cody, la sulfurea sceneggiatrice premio oscar, per un altro ritratto sgradevole. Questa volta al centro del suo film c’è una quarantenne, ghost writer di successo, ma del tutto incapace di una vita propria.
Il ritorno al paese d’infanzia e l’incontro con il suo vecchio fidanzato dei tempi del liceo scatenerà la sua furia distruttrice.
Roger Ebert gli ha assegnato tre stellette e mezza ed ha messo a nudo tutta la fragilità del personaggio interpretato da Charlize Theron: They must have closed their eyes and crossed their fingers while they were making this film. It breaks with form, doesn’t follow our expectations, and is about a heroine we like less at the end than at the beginning. There are countless movies about Queen Bitches in high school, but “Young Adult” has its revenge by showing how miserable they can be when they’re pushing 40.
The movie stars Charlize Theron, one of the best actors now working, as Mavis, a character we thoroughly dislike. […] She plays the onetime high school beauty queen in Mercury, Minn., who moved to the big city (Minneapolis), got her own condo, and is sorta famous as the author of series of a young adult novels about vampires. Back home in Mercury, they think of her as a glamorous success. Of course they haven’t seen her in years.
[…] As for Mavis, there’s an elephant in the room: She’s an alcoholic. “I think I may be an alcoholic,” she tells her hometown parents during an awkward dinner. Anyone who says that knows damn well they are. But civilians (and some of the critics writing about this film) are slow to recognize alcoholism. On the basis of what we see her drinking on the screen, she must be more or less drunk in every scene. She drinks a lot of bourbon neat. I’ve noticed a trend in recent movies: Few characters have mixed drinks anymore. It’s always one or two fingers, or four or five, of straight booze in a glass.
Alcoholism explains a lot of things: her single status, her disheveled apartment, her current writer’s block, her lack of self-knowledge, her denial, her inappropriate behavior. Diablo Cody was wise to include it; without such a context, Mavis would simply be insane. As it is, even in the movie’s last scene, she reminds me of what Boss Gettys says of Citizen Kane: “He’s going to need more than one lesson. And he’s going to get more than one lesson.”
After I left the screening of “Young Adult,” my thoughts were mixed. With “Thank You for Smoking,” “Juno” and “Up in the Air,” Jason Reitman has an incredible track record. Those films were all so rewarding. The character of Mavis makes “Young Adult” tricky to process. As I absorbed it, I realized what a fearless character study it is. That sometimes it’s funny doesn’t hurt.