From the director of The Daytrippers and Superbad (not to mention several episodes of Undeclared and Arrested Development) comes the newest piece, Adventureland, depicting post-high-school angst.
Protagonist James (Jesse Eisenberg) is an Ivy-league hopeful who expects to enjoy Amsterdam’s finest the summer before he begins college. When the family suffers a financial setback, James has to …gasp…work the summer instead of party. The only job he can find is running games at the amusement park, Adventureland. There he meets an assortment of folks (reminiscent of the Breakfast Club variety), including his bosses Paulette (Kristen Wiig) and Bobby (Bill Hader) and his crush object Em (Kristen Stewart). He likes her; she seems to like him, but maybe not as much as she likes Mike (Ryan Reynolds), the Adventureland handyman who likes all the young girls, using his tall tale about how he jammed with Lou Reed to hook them.
James is looking to update his virgin status. Will Em figure out that Mike is a lame before the summer ends? Will James be deflowered by Em? His summer may not have been spent backpacking in Europe, but he does some living.
I enjoyed this movie. It’s reminiscent of that time when you were a teen working a job you didn’t care much about, but you knew it wasn’t forever. You met odd and interesting people and became part of the drama and went to post-work parties (especially if you worked in the food industry or a place like Adventureland). The next day, you got up and did it again.
Director: Greg Mottola
Run time: 107 minutes