36 – Young Adult (2011)


Director: Jason Reitman Starring: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson Running time: 94 mins

Subject: Another Cody/Reitman collab, another antidote to Hollywood’s idea that life is mainly discovery, progression and meaningful hugs. Theron is perfectly sulky as Mavis Gary, a young adult fiction writer who returns to her hometown with the MO: get back with ex-boyfriend – his wife and new baby be damned. Laughs are plentiful yet always tinged with an ache. Patton Oswalt, the disabled larger gent ignored by Mavis throughout her high school reign, is the humanity injection she comes to rely on, though not as much as her nightly tumblers of Maker’s Mark. Mavis’s unlikeability is balanced with deft scenes showing that there have always been people around to tell her that beauty and superficial success are everything.

Like: Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion plumped up with the moral message of Frankenstein.

Core truth: You can’t be a prom queen forever.


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