Youth in Revolt ?

If you haven't tired yet of seeing Michael Cera playing a dorky dweeb then you'll be more tolerant of this mild and meandering comedy, a big disappointment from director Arteta, who gave us the the excellent Chuck and Buck and The Good Girl.

Cera plays articulate and sarcastic teen Nick Twisp, living with his sluttish mother Estelle (Smart). While holidaying with her and her dodgy boyfriend Jerry (Galifianakis) he meets the girl of his dreams Sheeni (Doubleday). His passion for her overcomes all obstacles and he will do anything to be with her - such as causing a major traffic accident so that his mum will throw him out so he can live with his father (Buscemi) who lives near the girl's parents. He also sneaks into her college dorm with pal Vijay (Kalyan) and spreads awful lies about her dependable but dull boyfriend. He even goes so far as dressing up in drag to sneak into her home and not give away his identity to her parents.

The escalating trouble he causes to all and sundry is helped by his smooth alter-ego, a moustachioed fantasy figure called Francois Dillinger (also played by Cera), a smooth talking cigarette smoker who forces the unconfident youth to perform his devilish acts and screw the consequences. Soon the teenager is up to his eyes in subterfuge and dodgy dealings. And you won't care one jot about his predicament. This weak effort tries for a jaunty, ironic tone but simply comes across as tedious. It's not funny enough and there never seems to be anything at stake. The cast acquit themselves well but there's nothing here for them to sink their teeth into. Cera needs to think about adopting a new persona - his performance here is hardly much different to what he's done before. Overall, It's watchable but uninteresting, the plot never grabbing you. Flimsy and forgettable, this ain't one to rush out to.

Official Site
Youth in Revolt at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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