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Adventureland
Greg Mottola's coming-of-age romance captures the absurdity and anguish of young adulthood.
 

Directed by Greg Mottola
(R)

****

A college grad spends his summer working at a local amusement park.

Adventureland is “my favorite American movie so far this year,” said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. With this smart, tender coming-of-age romance, writer-director Greg Mottola has made a film that’s “a little warmer, a little funnier, and a lot more truthful than the last 20 or 30 of its ilk.” Set in Pittsburgh in 1987, the story follows James (Jesse Eisenberg), a highly verbal, sexually frustrated college grad forced to spend the summer working at the local amusement park, Adventureland. But this is hardly your average teen comedy, said Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly. Mottola captures the absurdity and anguish of young adulthood “with rare feeling and flow.” He doesn’t just restore the humanity to a genre that’s given way to puerile humor, he also reveals a “loving and pinpoint-perfect” eye for the 1980s. Adventureland’s “recognizable satisfactions feel well-earned,” said Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. Mottola’s modest little film gives us the “kind of adventure we could all use more of.”

 

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