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Youth in Revolt

If you’ve yet to get your fill of movies starring Michael Cera as a geeky kid trying to lose his virginity, the opening of Youth in Revolt will undoubtedly be the high point of your month. In this movie, adapted from the first of a series of books by C. D. Payne about a perpetually horny teenage boy (is there any other kind?), Cera stars as Nick Twisp, emotionally and intellectually isolated from everyone around him but most especially his divorced parents and their inappropriate new beaux. Forced to hide out for a week with one of these pairs in a trailer camp, he meets Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday), a blonde who is even more precocious than he: When he names Tokyo Story as his favorite movie and lavishes praise on director Kenji Mizoguchi, she points out that it was actually Yasujiro Ozu. That’s the film in a nutshell, a romanticization of youth in which kids speak with the tart tongues and refined palates of their creators, heedless of the fact that they sound like no teenagers you or I have ever known. (Although if you thought Juno was the epitome of slick screenwriting you’ll probably love this.) As directed by Miguel Areta (Chuck and Buck), it’s a less exploitative but more pretentious take on the whole 1980s genre of horny teenager movies, distinguished primarily by a weirdly dreamlike mood that keeps you perpetually off balance. Nick invents an alter ego, played by Cera as the antithesis of the screen persona he has solidified in the last few years. In his defense, Cera and his agents must be desperate trying to find parts that will allow him to escape the inevitable career death of actors who hit it big as teens, but it seems likely that with his slight frame and high voice he’s destined for long-term success. My guess is he’ll head to the gym, bulk up and start pursuing action hero roles. Hey, look how well it worked for Anthony Michael Hall!

m. faust

Watch the trailer for Youth in Revolt

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