Young Adult

Release Date 03 Feb 2012 TBA

  • User rating
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
  • Critic rating
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

  80% of raters want to see this movie

Certificate: 15A

Genre: Drama

Academy Award® winner Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature who returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson). When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate (Patton Oswalt) who hasn’t quite gotten over high school, either.

Charlize Theron | Patrick Wilson | Patton Oswalt | J.K. Simmons | Elizabeth Reaser

Diablo Cody

Lianne Halfon | Russell Smith | Mason Novick | Diablo Cody | Jason Reitman

Jason Reitman

  • Critic rating
  • Currently 3/5 Stars. Critic Review

YOUNG ADULT (USA/15A/94mins)

Directed by Jason Reitman. Starring Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt, Elizabeth Reaser, Collette Wolfe, Jill Eikenberry.

THE PLOT: Theron plays Mavis Gary, the girl – as it says on the poster – ‘you hated in high school’, and now a writer of teen novels who isn’t selling all that many books these days. Add to that a recent divorce, and suddenly the homecoming queen is in desperate need of some TLC. And she knows just the man to give it to her – her old high school sweetheart, Buddy (Wilson). The fact that Buddy is now a happily-married father doesn’t seem to bother Mavis all that much. “We can beat this thing together,” she tells an increasingly freaked out Buddy.

THE VERDICT: It’s been a while since anyone’s given a hoot about a Charlize Theron picture, thanks to forgettable fare such as Aeon Flux, Battle In Seattle and Hancock. Having become more famous for her product endorsements than her work, it was clear this Oscar winner needed to add a little street cred to her CV. With Young Adult, box-office is plainly not the main consideration. A $12million budget means Theron wouldn’t have to knock Tom Cruise off the no.1 spot over Christmas in the US to make a profit. Nope, this is a film that aims for quality rather than quantity, Theron teaming up with the directing and writing team behind Juno – Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, respectively - for a tale that’s even more knowingly cool, quirky and cruel. And the critics have been lapping it up. Still, it somehow falls short of its promising premise, something that might just be reflected in the film’s cold shoulder by the Oscar grouches. RATING: 3/5

Review by Paul Byrne

  • Avg User rating
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.

User Reviews

    • Currently 2/5 Stars.

    Marty hanratty

    I was beginning to think that Jason Reitman could not get a foot wrong. But he did by reteaming with the one hit wonder writer Cody Diablo who although gave him the wonderful Juno, in her new script for Young Adult, she goes to the zone where it is neither funny, nor dramatic enough. And besides the exceptional performance of Charlize Theron and his apt directing, this falls quite short of the high standards he has set and achieved in the past.

    • Currently 3/5 Stars.


    The film is worth seeing for the performances of Theron and Oswalt, as well as for the unique script. Just don't get tricked into believing it's some laugh riot with a fairy tale ending. Mavis is a ghost writer for teen novels, and she writes the latest as she lives this nightmare of a trip back home. My only real question ... is she mature enough to write for teens?

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.


    I'm a big fan of Jason Reitman, especially his outstanding directional debut, Thank You For Smoking and his more recent Up in The Air. Young Adult may not be up to the very high standard set by his earlier efforts, but it is still an enjoyable & quirky film, with an excellent lead performance from Charlize Theron. Don't go into Young Adult expecting a gross-out comedy, a hard hitting drama or a tale of redemption. Charlize plays, for the lack of different word, a bitch; who seems intent on drinking herself to death whilst also attempting to destroy the marriage of her happily married high school sweetheart. It's darkly funny & definetley worth the watch. How Charlize's admirable performance was not recognized by the Oscar committee whilst Melissa McCarthy fat & fart gags were, I still find bewildering.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.


    Directed by Jason Reitman, this is original, bracing and darkly comic with a strong performance fromTheron but it's not as funny or psychologically probing as it should be andthere's no escapingthe fact Mavis is pretty grim company

    • Currently 2/5 Stars.


    Very disappointing dramedy that never really clicks and the black humour never really works. Gets a second star for the actors all doing their best with their roles, and a finale which is very good and if more of the film had been as good, this film would have been much better.

    • Currently 2/5 Stars.


    Director Jason Reitman re-teams with writer Diablo Cody for Young Adult, but don't expect Juno - 20 Years Later. Charlize Theron gives a commendable performance as lonely, depressed thirtysomething Mavis who really hasn't grown up since her teen years. She comes back to her hometown to re-kindle her relationship with an old flame, who now has a family of his own. The big problem with this film is the central character. Some may regard Mavis' behaviour as quirky, but it's hard to get past the fact that Mavis is essentially mentally ill. Mental illness is not a laughing matter, hence the often bitter tone of the film which barely raises anything more than a quiet chuckle. The cast are all good, especially sad sack Patton Oswalt as Mavis' drinking buddy. Cody once again proves that she has a great ear for dialogue, but there's no getting past the fact that Mavis is an unlikeable character who sees nothing wrong with being a homewrecker. You'll either love this film or hate it. That might explain why it was snubbed in the Oscar nominations recently.