Young Adult

A new review from The Movie Snob

Young Adult (B).  The writer-director team behind Juno (Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman) reteam for this dramedy starring the lovely Charlize Theron (Hancock) as Mavis Gary, a 37-year-old divorcee who lives in Minneapolis and has been making a living ghost-writing a series of novels for young adults.  She drinks way too much, her books have stopped selling, and she is generally dissatisfied with her life.  Then she gets an email announcing that her high-school boyfriend, Buddy Slade, and his wife Beth have had their first child.  Although she apparently hasn’t seen Buddy much if at all since high school, Mavis decides that getting Buddy back would be just the cure for her blues, so she packs her Mini Cooper and returns to her small hometown of Mercury, Minnesota, with the avowed goal of wrecking his marriage.  Mavis is both monstrous and pathetic, but Theron invests her with enough humanity to keep me feeling a shred of sympathy for her.  The reliable Patrick Wilson (Little Children) turns in a nice performance as the thoroughly unremarkable object of Mavis’s attention.  Patton Oswalt (The Informant!) plays Mavis’s unlikely confidante, a classmate who was left crippled by a horrific hate crime–because some jocks mistakenly thought he was gay.  Not many laughs, but the movie definitely held my attention and didn’t always go where I thought it was going.  I liked it.

Ratatouille

New from The Movie Snob

Ratatouille (D+). Am I being too harsh? Maybe, but I thought this movie from Brad Bird, the director of The Incredibles, was a big disappointment. It’s about a rat named Remy (voice of Patton Oswalt, Young Adult) who loves good food and good cooking. This makes him a misfit among his fellow rats, and when he finds himself in Paris he quickly attaches himself to a famous restaurant named Gusteau’s. He helps a garbage boy become a successful chef in Gusteau’s kitchen, and a couple of villains have to be overcome (most enjoyably the dreaded food critic Anton Ego, voiced by Peter O’Toole, Troy). Although visually spectacular, as you would expect, the movie as a whole is simply dull. The animated short that precedes it, about a would-be alien abduction, was okay.