Adventureland is about a recent college grad who is forced to move back in with his parents for the summer before he starts grad school. It takes place in 1987, which is genius because the film itself harkens back to the golden age of teen films, the 1980s. In the tradition of Say Anything and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Adventureland presents a cast of dynamic characters who at times hover on the edge of exaggeration, before being pulled back into the realm of believablilty.
At its heart, Adventureland is a boy meets girl story. But unlike recent teen fare like Juno and Nick and Norah, Adventureland delves into some much deeper themes. Subplots revolve around alcoholic parents, racism, depression, and all kinds of other issues that real people are forced to deal with. But instead of being didactic and condescending about it, the film seems to say, “This is the shit that happens to you in life, it is unsolvable, deal with it.”
The soundtrack is great, and the cinematography is stellar. The ensemble performances are excellent, although the two leads (the chick from Twilight and this other guy) seemed at times to be impersonating Ellen Page and Michael Cera, respectively. But overall, they did a great job. Also, this is a comedy first and foremost, and it has some hilarious moments.
I give Adventureland 5.3 out of 5.8 stars. [phil's note -that comes out to using veryserious’ standard] Go see it.