Young Adult

The reunion of Juno creative team Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman aims for a slightly more mature, though no less blackly comic view of the way life can so easily be ruined by, you know, life, with all of its unfortunate realities and missed opportunities. Accordingly, there are very few recognizable Cody-isms in this trailer—no clever portmanteaus, no winking appropriations of contemporary culture as its own special language—because this is a story about grown-up people with very grown-up problems. Or, sort of: Young Adult, as its title implies, stars Charlize Theron as a former “prom queen bitch” (cue David Bowie) who’s managed to channel her perpetual plateau of an adolescence into writing a series of successful teen literature books. Her stunted emotional growth becomes something of a problem, however, when she returns to her hometown in pursuit of the high school boyfriend who got away—played by Patrick Wilson, doing his umpteenth this-ugly-sweater-hides-how-handsome-I-am role as the happily married guy who isn’t buying what Theron is selling.

Promisingly, this trailer also gives ample time to Patton Oswalt’s character, who appears to be clinging to his own youth as the punk rock-loving, sarcastic observer (which definitely doesn’t hit home for like three-quarters of The A.V. Club staff), who provides amused counsel to Theron despite her probably treating him like shit when they were kids. Cody has described the film as “pretty serious and fucked up” in its depiction of Theron as a selfish antihero. And while the preview still seems fairly lighthearted, there’s enough here to suggest that she might be right, and that Young Adult finally signals Cody’s own maturation. Honest to... etc. etc.

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