Michael Cera has typecasted himself as Michael Cera. If a Hollywood production is every looking to have Michael Cera in their movie, they know who to go to. In Youth in Revolt, Michael Cera once again plays Michael Cera, but, just for shits and giggles, he also plays his alter ego Francois Dillinger, a very anti-Michael Cera.
Yes, Michael Cera is the star of the movie. Did you get that?
In Youth in Revolt, he plays Nick Twisp, an awkward teenage virgin who meets the girl of his dreams (Portia Doubleday) while staying with relatives for the summer. He is intrigued by her bluntness while she thinks he's sweet, but in the heat of the moment Nick develops a split personality named Francois who is willing to do and say the things Nick is reluctant to do. God, I wish I had a split personality like Francois - minus the arsonist tendencies.
Youth in Revolt is a movie that never quite reaches its potential, though it gets its fingertips on it a few times. The coming-of-age story isn't anything new, but the execution and situations Nick gets into are unique. Unfortunately, the best parts of the movie are the interactions between Nick and Francois, and most of those are shown in the movie trailers. In other words, the movie needed more Francois.
The movie is directed by Miguel Arteta, who also did The Good Girl. He does a decent job, but is generally uninspiring. Between Arteta and screenwriter Gustin Nash (the movie is based on a novel by C.D. Payne), the filmmakers fail to tighten the story in a coherent way; it bounces between scenes almost at random, which causes the pacing to suffer. Youth in Revolt, as funny as it is as times, fails to hold attention.
Youth in Revolt features good acting and an interesting story, but the trailers are funnier than the actual movie. It lacks cohesiveness and as a result struggles to entertain throughout its running time. It's hard to say that potential was squandered, but it definitely wasn't fully realized.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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