Friday, January 8, 2010
Youth in Revolt
After acting in the hilarious "Juno," innocent looking Michael Cera becomes a spokesperson for those shy, sex deprived, awkward high adolescents. A few of similar characters have been credited to his name. His latest role is a nerdy teenager virgin in director Miguel Arteta's comedy "Youth in Revolt" (USA 2010 | 90 min.). Even with a French twist, his role gets repetitive and he is unable to repeat the same magic as in "Juno."
Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) is a soft-spoken shy nerdy teenager who thinks about sex all the time, but has never been with a girl sexually. On a family vacation at a trailer park (indeed, that is the location!), he meets and falls for a beautiful girl Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday) who lives in a trailer with her super religious and protective parents. Sheeni hints Nick that the only way for him to get her: "You must be bad, Nickie. Be very, very bad." Nick takes the advice seriously and invents a complete different persona—a mustached chain-smoking French named Francois Dillinger (Michael Cera). With the encouragement from Francois, Nick goes on a rebellious rampage that leaves his innocent good boy image forever behind him.
The film is based on C. D. Payne's 1993 novel that has a cult following. Thanks to the book, the film has plenty goofy dialogues that make the audience chuckle. However, while Nick is liberated from being an innocent boy, the film appears to be bond and constrained. It never reaches to the level that makes us laugh out loud. The film would have been funnier if it were as free-spirited as its fantastic music sound track.
Michael Cera is a talented exellent actor and he gives terrific performance in many films, including this one. However, it is time for him to grow out of those sexually frustrated and monotone talking adolescent roles. For one thing, sooner or later, he will have some facial hair like Francois does.