From the start, Youth in Revolt answers the question “is this just another teen comedy?” With just a couple grunts and moans as we watch the Dimension logo disappear only to see a self-loving Michael Cera. Youth in Revolt holds no punches in it’s story of Nick Twisp, a teenage boy trying to find love and the perks that come with it. The only problem is that he had to leave the girl he loves behind when his family vacation ends. In a last ditch effort to get back to the love of his life Sheeni Saunders, Nick creates another persona in order to do the bad things he can’t, in order to get kicked out of his house and move closer to the girl he loves. The only problem is when Nick’s dark side Francois Dillinger starts to take control in a Tyler Durden “self destruction is the answer” way, things don’t turn out just as he would expect.
Francois not only gives Nick the will to do the things his conscious won’t allow him to do it also allows Cera to show movie goers that he also has a range. Cera’s depiction of Francois is a breath of fresh air when we compare this performance to most of what we saw from him in 2009. Needless to say, I think the nerdy socially awkward Cera has been done to death and it was nice to see that he has the talent to move on. In Youth in Revolt you never get the feeling that Cera is phoning in his performance with the same old character. Not only was Cera surprisingly good in Youth in Revolt, he was joined by a stellar cast.
Youth in Revolt has everything from young up starts to comic veterans like Fred Willard. Willard plays Mr. Ferguson, Nick’s neighbor that also dabbles a bit in the aiding and embedding of foreign immigrants and the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms. During some key moments Willard delivers awkward laughs that I have grown to love through the years. Though the film has actors like Steve Buscemi and Ray Liotta it was Justin Long that stands out the most. Long plays Paul Saunders, Sheeni’s brother, a guy that isn’t afraid to open the minds of others with the use of hallucinogenic drugs. Long is starting to stand out as a comedic actor so much that the first sight of him in the film gets laughs even though it’s just a portrait. Long’s dry awkward humor stands out and shows that he can do it all.
The only real disappointment in this film when it comes to the casting is the use of Zach Galifianakis. Even though he has a larger part in Youth in Revolt, I feel like I did in most of his post Hangover fair, it seems like he is being used as just a name instead of a main component of a film. That’s not to say that I didn’t think he did a good job in this role, but I just don’t feel that he is being cast in roles where he can show his true potential. Along with Zach, Ray Liotta and Steve Buscemi join the list of just names in this film, offering nothing more than their name and a few scenes that are very forgettable.
Youth in Revolt takes risks when it comes to a teen sex drive comedy instead of going the pie fucking route, Youth in Revolt takes the darker dry comedy route. This is what makes it work. That’s right it’s more of a dry comedy but don’t start rethinking your ticket purchase this Friday, it’s no I Heart Huckabees. Youth in Revolt walks the the line well making it a comedy that everyone can enjoy.
I give Youth in Revolt 3 “French mustaches” out of 5
by Angela Davis