Miguel Arteta’s Youth in Revolt may appear as nothing more than a teenage angst comedy featuring Michael Cera. And while this is the case, I feel inclined to suggest that the movie is so much more. The book, for anyone interested and even for those who didn’t know it was originally a book, is apparently quite long and full of wickedly wonderful black comedy. Never having read the text, I cannot presume to have an opinion of it, other then I think I may soon be adding a new novel to my rack of literature.
The film’s writer, Gustin Nash, deserves some serious credit for being able to stuff a 500 page book into 90 minutes of screen time. Nash is able to do so without leaving the audience feeling incoherent about what’s happening, while also succeeding in letting the story move along at a wonderful pace.
I’ll admit that I was extremely unsure about going in to see the movie today, having my hesitations with anything Michael Cera related, since most of his work is the same old same old. Yet in this film, despite how he plays the awkward-romantic, he does it brilliantly. Cera’s character, Nick Twisp is a hopeless romantic, who loves listening to classic vinyl records of Frank Sinatra, but desperately wants more in his life. Enter Sheeni, an intellectually stimulating and beautiful girl, who, upon the very first moment they meet, Nick falls desperately in love with. Alas, Sheeni is looking for someone who’s more manly, and so Nick adopts a dual personality in the form of chain-smoking-bad-boy Francois. What ensues is a cluster of hilarity and outrageous circumstances as Nick does anything and everything to ensure that he can be with his one true love.
Youth in Revolt is a good movie. And yes, I know that statement is simple, but sometimes simple is best. The genre of teen-romances has become so overdone in the last decade, that it’s near impossible to find one that is not only original, but wonderfully crisp and clever. If you have the time, and don’t mind this sort of film, check it out.