Quick Thoughts – Youth in Revolt
Going in to Youth in Revolt I knew next to nothing about the books that the film was adapted from. Evidently they must have been somewhat popular, as the adventures of Nick Twisp have become somewhat of a cottage industry. But going in blind I had no idea what to expect, though the trailer at lease gave me a hint that the film would be a bit of a satire on the standard romantic comedy.
What I didn’t expect was the film to be a scathing rebuke of teenagers. According to Youth in Revolt, teenagers are self-aggrandizing, narcissistic douche bags of the highest order, who also operate under the false assumption that they are intellectuals and romantics of the highest order. And adults, they simply stand in the way of their happiness. As does responsibility and accountability. To say I ate this premise up would be a major understatement.
Leading the way is the great dual performance of Michael Cera as Nick Twisp an his archangel alter ego Francois Dillinger. But a bevy of character acting heavyweights like Steve Buscemi, Ray Liotta, Justin Long, Zach Galifanakis, Jean Smart, Fred Willard, Mary Kay Place and M. Emmet Walsh turns this film into a tour de force of acting talent and the world of Youth in Revolt into a vibrant and memorable playground of absurdity.
And while Cera doesn’t get to display as much acting range as the trailer might hint at, he does finally get a chance to have a character go through a full fledged arc, evolving and changing through the course of the film. Though that may not exactly be for the better for Twisp, though he’s far too ignorant to realize that anyways, which is exactly why Youth in Revolt is so damn entertaining.