The plot is centered around Nick Twisp (Michael Cera), an undersexed teen who’s hellbent on earning the love of Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday). He meets her in a trailer park while on vacation, immediately being captivated by her intelligence and good looks. Twisp begins completing as much mischief as possible, so that his mother (Jean Smart) will kick him out and send him to live with his father (Steve Buscemi) who is close to Sheeni. In order to do these acts, Nick creates his smoking, bad boy alter ego, Francois. Add some explosions, sex and sunglasses, then antics ensue.
My goodness. I like Michael Cera, don’t get me wrong, but how many times can he do the same thing and get away with it? Reprising his role of the awkward, horny teen who’s a little too cautious was the most boring part of the movie. Luckily, his dual role as Francois completely saved this movie, in my eyes. The entire movie, I was simply waiting to see Francois appear. I really loved the dual life aspect of the movie, it was well done in order to make for an interesting lead character. Cera actually pulled a triple threat on this one, pretending to be a girl named Carlotta in quite a few parts of the movie.
The supporting roles all performed very well, especially Justin Long and Steve Buscemi. It’s refreshing to see so many good actors put some effort into an indie flick like this. The one character I wasn’t crazy about was Nick’s love interest, Sheeni. I couldn’t see the appeal, other than just being a young, doe-eyed girl. She was manipulative, cold and seemed like the least likeable person in the film. I suppose Portia Doubleday did a good job in portraying the character, by inspiring real life emotion over fictional characters.
Youth In Revolt does everything in it’s power to be indie. All of the characters, settings, plot lines and visuals are all screaming out to the indie/emo crowd. That’s fine and all, except one scene was especially out of place. While Nick and his friend go on a road trip to a college that Sheeni is attending, the whole thing is shown as paper cut outs and animation. It’s the only scene that does it in the entire film and it really stuck out to me as unnecessary.
The music and soundtrack to the movie is an expectedly indie mix of various unknown artists. They all fit in to the movie, so there are no big complaints about it. Youth In Revolt really only does a few things differently from every other teen sex comedy, but it’s enough to set it apart.
Should you see Youth In Revolt? I suppose. It has enough humor, great acting, and antics to keep you entertained, but I’m concerned that carbon copy indie movies are soon going to take over the world. We need more originality in teen comedies, these days. I’m glad to see that Youth In Revolt brings some changes and tweaks to the average teen sex movie, making it enjoyable enough to go see.
I give Youth In Revolt 3.5 “Burning Cigarettes” out of 5