Hello! Welcome back to another Film Muse.
To put it quite frankly, Adventureland (dir. Greg Mottola) is sort of what Empire Records should have been (I'll get back to that later). The movie takes place in the summer of '87 at a local amusement park where a spoiled college grad (Jesse Eisenberg) takes on a meaningless "games" job. Throughout the movie, you get to see the characters' relationships and tensions unfold, accompanied by Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig's hilarious banters as the amusement park's head employees.
Now back to my Empire Records reference. I think we all like the idea of Empire Records, but the execution wasn't quite there. Instead of the film really focusing on the nostalgic relationships of record store employees, you just see Liv Tyler try to lose her V- Card to a creepy washed up singer. Now I'm not completely hating on the movie, I quite like it. But Adventureland really ties it all together. You see the awkwardness of a college grad's superiority complex, the hilarity behind losing a giant stuffed panda at knife point, and the romance between the employees. All of that, plus the backdrop of illuminated carnival lights puts anyone in the nostalgic mood that is SUMMER.
So I know everyone hates Kristen Stewart because she chose the most horrible movie for her to deal with in real life (erm..Twilight), but I have to admit, I love her. From Joan Jett in The Runaways to Tracy in Into The Wild, Kristen Stewart will always have my heart. In fact, she plays this role heart wrenchingly well. The only thing that didn't make sense about this movie was casting Ryan Reynolds as a badass guitarist/mechanic for the park. IT DIDN'T MAKE SENSE. It was a bit cringe worthy.
JOEL! Can't forget about Joel. Freaks and Geeks fans will rejoice when they see Martin Starr in this movie. I'm not sure if its the contrasted physique of him from then to now, but for a "loser" role, Starr's character seems pretty fucking cool. Being lanky and smoking a pipe never looked so awesome. Joel is the voice of reason in the film, the best friend, the underdog, and the stand out role to be quite honest. Maybe I'm a bit partial because I love me some Freaks and Geeks but Marin Starr blew this role out of the water. It's sort of like seeing Bill in an alternate universe.
Overall, this is one of my favorite underrated summer films. Its perfectly cliche and hilarious with awesome cinematography and acting. It's definitely worth renting from your local video store (do those still exist?) and watching it with your friends on a hot summer night.
Keep it cool, as usual.