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Youth in Revolt
3 out of 5 stars
Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Nick Twisp is confused. He’s a literate, Sinatra-loving sophisticate, so why does his virginity feel like a terminal affliction? Male adolescent ferment was ever thus, but leading man Michael Cera, as he’s done in ‘Superbad’, ‘Juno’ and ‘Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist’, brings a remarkably sympathetic presence to the travails of dweebdom. Whether you feel you’ve already seen Cera strut his geeky stuff once too often may well determine your reaction to this adaptation of CD Payne’s cult novel, but it’s still passably diverting fare as he meets the girl of his dreams in the unlovely environs of the Restless Axles trailer park. She is Sheeni (Portia Doubleday), beautiful, a total Francophile, and has even heard of Yasujiro Ozu, but to be with her he’s going to have to escape from home. He’s going to have to be… a very bad boy.
Quite a challenge for the congenitally meek Nick, so he creates a moustachioed, Gauloise-puffing alter ego François Dillinger to say and do things he can’t quite manage himself, setting in motion sundry jolly japes and escalating mayhem which complicate the pursuit of his affections. The tone throughout is moderately quirky rather than full-on teen-flick vulgarian, bolstered by indie-cred cameos from Steve Buscemi (his nervy dad) and Ray Liotta (his mom’s psycho-cop suitor), and garnished with cute animated interludes. A little of everything, actually, which almost disguises the fact that the movie’s not overly amusing, never truly insightful and trying rather too hard to be cultish. But we do like the Cera boy. We really do.