Thursday, 19 July 2012

Youth in Revolt

I recently watch a movie called Youth In Revolt on Netflix. God how I love Netflix. Anyways, I had remembered hearing about this movie a while ago and had been curious to see it and thanks to Netflix, I remembered this curiosity and decided to finally see what it was about.

Why are Zach Galifianakis and Justin Long on the poster?
They're barely in this movie. 
So, Youth in Revolt is a movie starring Michael Cera and is about a a teenager named Nick Twisp who laments being a virgin because being a virgin is like the worst thing on the face of the Earth, apparently. Well, if you listen to a lot of teen movies it is.

He carries on about how he's so much deeper than most teens because he reads Sartre and Camus and only listens to Sinatra. So my immediate thought about this character is, pretentious hipster. I do get the feeling that it is supposed to be satirical of a teens over blown sense of worth because of their "quirky" or "individual" tastes but it doesn't make me like the character any more.

Nick's family is extremely quirky and weird and it turns out that Nick's stepfather, or possibly just his mother's boyfriend, gets into financial troubles with some sailors who he owes money to. Rather than pay them back, they decide to run and the boyfriend takes them to a trailer park in Ukiah.

There, Nick meets the girl of his dreams. A girl just as pretentious as he is, named Sheeni and he falls immediately in love. Sidebar, can I just say how uncomfortable I was that her name is Sheeni? I mean really, that was the best quirky name you could give her? You really had to make it sound like an ethnic slur?


Anyways, she reveals she has a boyfriend but they have a romance anyways, until Nick's parents decide to head back to Berkeley. Desperate to keep his relationship going with a girl who doesn't seem remotely into him so much as just wants to toy with him for her own amusement, he hatches a plan to return to Ukiah, keep his relationship going and finally lose his virginity.

Sheeni offers to get Nick's actual father, played by Steve Buscemi, a job in Ukiah. All Nick has to do is get his mother to throw him out of the house so he has to live with his dad but to do so Nick has to be bad. He's not used to being bad so he creates an alter ego named Francois who will be bad for him. He named his alter ego Francois because Sheeni mentioned that her dream is to travel abroad and meet some foreign man named Francois who will be her husband and he wants to be more like the kind of man Sheeni wants. For some reason.

He doesn't want to hurt his mother's feelings by simply saying he wants to live with his dad for a while, no he's a saint. So what does he do to get kicked out, you ask? Oh nothing too serious, just blowing up half of Berkeley! Jesus, Nick, virginity isn't that dire a thing to lose you know. I'm sure you can find plenty of other pretentious hipster types once you go to college, if that's still an option for you after that.

Seems reasonable. Fuck people's property, Nick needs to get laid!

I neglected to mention that Nick's mother's boyfriend passed away. She is now dating Officer Ray Liotta who advises them to hide Nick until the heat (pun intended?) dies down and they send him to Ukiah. Mission accomplished except that Sheeni's parents overhear the psychopath bragging about how he blew up half of a town to get thrown out and they appropriately send their daughter away to a French boarding school.

This was apparently her plan all along as her boyfriend also attends the school and this school will enable her to go to France for college. Does this deter Nick? Nope. He still wants her although I have no fucking clue why.

I own you.

Nick follows her to the school and they almost have sex but are interrupted yet again. So he's forced to more drastic measures. He convinces another girl in the school to drug Sheeni with sleeping pills so that she'll fall asleep in class and be expelled. Uhhhhhhh, seriously? Seriously? I've completely stopped rooting for this guy now, not that I was rooting for him much before but this? This would be unforgivable to me.

Officer Ray Liotta has left Nick's mother and she calls Nick to warn him that he will not cover for Nick anymore. The police are now looking for him. He says, fuck it and heads to thanksgiving dinner with Sheeni's family. Unfortunately for Nick, his douchbaggery is revealed when Sheeni's actual boyfriend shows up and reveals to everyone that Nick was responsible for drugging Sheeni to purposely get her expelled.

Everyone is justifiably horrified at what an asshat Nick is and he runs away. His alter ego, Francois pulls him out of his funk however and buys Nick some time to go after Sheeni one more time.
She tells him off for being a creepy asshole and sends him with his tail between his legs off to jail. God how I wish that was the end. Nope, Nick apologizes and professes his love for her and she finally takes his v-card. Because girls love it when you drug them and essentially ruin their future by getting them kicked out of a prestigious private school. We just love that shit.


Anyways, she says she'll wait for him and he's all impressed because the cops have shown up and he's surely going to jail for a long time. She points out that he's only 16 so he'll just be sent to Juvie for 3 months and that one line shows me how flipping ridiculous the juvenile justice system is if that is the attitude it fosters in youth. Nick then realizes that all he had to be all along was him. Yeah, newsflash asshole, you were you the entire movie regardless of your stupid alter ego and guess what? You're an awful, awful person. Being you is the worst thing you could be.

So, in case you didn't get this from my tone, I did not enjoy this movie. It felt like it was being quirky and edgy for the sake of being quirky and edgy, every time Nick and Sheeni interacted it was like a game of who can be more witty and clever and to quote Jack Worthing:

I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays.

I concur, Mr. Worthing. To me the movie had an interesting premise, a boy turning to an alter ego to win over a girl, but in order to pull it off, it needed to have more likeable and sympathetic characters. This doesn't mean that the characters had to be flawless awesome people, I like plenty of shows and movies that are about god awful people. It's just, for me personally, I need to the characters to be charming and fun to enjoy a film, be they good or bad. I have to at least like them in an 'I find these people insanely entertaining despite their flaws type of way and I just didn't like these characters. Sheeni is only slightly less awful than Nick and Michael Cera as a bad ass was kind of laughably bad. I couldn't take him seriously as his alter ego with that awful moustache.

I'm suave because I smoke and wear sunglasses. Also, moustache!

He just didn't look suave to me. I enjoyed one scene with Francois and that was at the very end when he called the cops "for Nick" and some of his outbursts could be funny but other than that it just didn't work for me.

I again hear that this was based on a book by C.D. Payne and maybe, just maybe the book covers the characters and their intentions better but I don't know. I'm only going on my feelings from watching the movie and my feelings are that it is just not that enjoyable. This movie has gotten some fairly favourable reviews elsewhere and if you enjoy quirky movies then you might like this but if you don't, avoid Youth in Revolt.

I'm Blinvy and thanks for visiting my Teenage Wasteland again.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, thank you. I needed further proof that I don't need to see Michael Cera anything, ever... Well, except for Arrested Development, and that doesn't count because it has at least two hot people in it.

    .... He DRUGGED her?! Jesus Christ.