Young Adult is one of those movies that I didn’t hate but didn’t love either. I thought the performances were good particularly Charlize Theron as reprehensible and (likely) mentally unstable Mavis Gary trying to reconnect with her married high school ex. Patton Oswalt as her former classmate and unlikely friend Matt Freehauf was also pretty good. Sometimes it’s hard for me to take Oswalt seriously because when he talks, I automatically think about his comedy sets but in this film, I got over it pretty quickly.
I appreciated that the movie never tried to make Mavis sympathetic. She was a horrible self-centered person at the beginning of the movie and (spoiler alert) she leaves her hometown pretty much the same way (with a few dents in her armor). The only problem is that doesn’t make for much of a movie. You want to credit director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody for making a movie that defies the movie convention that your main character has to change and grow but, after watching this, I now see why this convention exists.
Dialogue-wise, this was probably the least Cody-esque film she’s done. With a few exceptions, if you hadn’t told me she wrote this movie, I wouldn’t have known which is really the nicest thing I can say about a Diablo Cody script.