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Flicks Fix: 'Young Adult' a teenage dream to nowhere

By Carolina Astrain
July 10, 2013 at 2:10 a.m.

Mavis (Charlize Theron) returns to her hometown convinced she can woo her married high school boyfriend away from his wife and child and into her arms.

IF YOU LIKE

If you've already seen "Young Adult," then check out some of these other movies with similar themes and undertones. Know of anything that would be a good addition to this list? Shoot me an email at castrain@vicad.com or tweet me @carolinastrain, I'd love to check it out.

• "Lost in Translation," 2003

• "Just Friends," 2005

• "Tiny Furniture," 2010

• "Margot at the Wedding," 2007

"The Graduate," 1967

• "Garden State," 2004

Source: Internet Movie Database

We've all had that dream.

Someday, we'll leave home and return as a glorified superstar in the eyes of our childhood friends.

Or perhaps we'll pursue a forgotten romance we bookmarked after high school graduation.

This is what our brave heroine Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) sets out to accomplish in the 2011 film "Young Adult," written by Diablo Cody.

Our late-30s protagonist is introduced through the lens of her messy downtown Minneapolis apartment.

Mavis is a writer on deadline, procrastinating the end of her young adult novel series.

She receives an email from her ex-boyfriend with an image of his newborn daughter.

For some bizarre reason, Mavis interprets this as a sign that they belong together - despite the whole married-with-a-child thing.

The next day, after a one-night stand, she sets out to reignite her high school romance.

Off Mavis goes, driving down the interstate to her hometown of Mercury, Minn., where she checks into a hotel and plots the seduction of her married ex-boyfriend.

At this point, the delusion is maddening.

The viewer knows Mavis is on a fool's errand.

Thankfully, this seemingly drab, "Days of Our Lives"-esque plot is somewhat saved by Matt, played by actor and comedian Patton Oswalt.

Matt, an area sports bar bookkeeper, continually attempts to keep Mavis from committing all the mistakes she ends up making before the film's climax at the baby naming ceremony.

The pace of the film is a tad slow at times, but the punchlines are worth waiting for.

Personally, I didn't enjoy seeing as many retail or name brand items that were littered throughout the scenes.

But I can get what the director, Jason Reitman, is getting at.

It made the film feel very naked, very raw - almost homemade.

Maybe this vulnerability was the same type of feeling he was trying to get at with his leading lady.

"Young Adult" isn't the greatest film you'll ever see, but it is about a dream we've all wondered about.

(Except for those of you who actually married your high school sweetheart and never moved out of your hometown, maybe this movie isn't for you.)

But for the rest of us suckers, the film is worth spending a few hours on.

One hour, 34 minutes to be precise.

And if my high school sweetheart is reading this, please don't take this as a sign of destined love.

I'm doing quite all right, thank you.

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