Young Adult (2011-Jason Reitman/Paramount Pictures)


The style of tone of Diablo Cody’s screenplay writing work runs seamlessly between Juno (2007), Jennifer’s Body (2009) and most recently applauded Young Adult (2011). Teenagers making potential life journey moves like have children in high school and mid 30’s independent fully grown up women acting like school girls. All done with the humour of her usual female tackling modern western first world life themes as a writer. While Young Adult 2011 is a black comedy piece of cinema to be enjoyed as a study through film of people who do not grow emotionally, it’s also a great vehicle to remind audiences that Charlize Theron is truly a talented Hollywood actress, with ability past mainstream beauty.

Charlize Theron plays lead female character Mavis Gray an emotionally unaware, adolescent acting but successful ghost writers of novels for the popular “Young Adult” literature market. Cultured and intelligent, she is approaching 40 years and depicting an age bracket below. She suffers alcohol addiction and appears to be blissfully aware that she may be suffering from depression about the way her personal life has been. She manages well to create these young teen female environments by mostly humorously listening to high school students in fast food chain and shopping malls. She also suffers from the rare condition Trichotillomania purposely pulling out your own hair to release daily stress and anxiety but controlling the pain. SHE is naturally selfish and unaware as major personality flaws despite her career triumphs. 

She has re imagined the immature teen romantic relationship between her and a former young man who also attended her high school. She sees while at a pivotal moment of time in her life of personal growth to not chose to mature. Mavis decides he is the one love of her life that will change her emotional circumstance and motivation. She concocts a plan to win him back without even for a moment taking into account he has himself become a grown working man with happy family and goals of his own since adolescence. 

Mavis Gary: I’m going to a rock concert with an old flame and I think there is a chance we may reconnect.

Sales Lady: Let’s show him what he’s been missing.

Mavis Gary: No, he’s seen me recently. He knows. But his wife hasn’t seen me in a while, so.

This film conveys a timely tale of someone not being self aware with their own behaviour and self involved views which affects others. In this case, she has not considered her arrival to pursue a romance with this old flame would affect his wife, family and new born son. These are the actions of an older woman who truly thinks life revolves around her wants and needs. Not unlike a teenage girl without the serious life experience or social clarity. 

Although this is a piece of cinema not in the realms of being appreciated as an epic Oscar contender, Charlize Theron’s performance gives so some humour and light poke at how women should take more responsibility for their own actions. The ability to somehow as an outsider audience viewer somehow understand a wealthy, beautiful, blonde is actually damaged and not as happy as she portrays to the world socially is still a statement even with underneath humour. Never judge so fast because what social media pictures, money or marital status. You never the mental burden even the pretty popular girl carries even when conveyed through comedy.

Von Von Lamunu



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