Go ahead, Charlize Theron. Rope us in with your tired grimace. Your cold, clueless eyes. Your overall exuberance of an ignorant, self-aggrandizing hate for everything in your half-mile radius. It all works. Young Adult is irresistible.
Mavis Gary (Theron), a novelist, returns to her Minnesota hometown, bent on reigniting an old flame with a now happily married man (Patrick Wilson). I don’t know what is so ferociously fresh about a plot that seems like it must have been done time and time again. In large, it’s the combination of director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody: an inevitable power duo of offbeat wit, sophistication and stylized charm. There’s also the magnetic cast to consider: Theron, Wilson, Patton Oswalt, J.K. Simmons, to name a few. Maybe it’s the true sincerity emanated by this film about the phobia of aging, a pandemic that is attacking not only the characters in this movie, but the generation it represents.
Whatever it is, as said above, it all works. Scowl all you want, Theron. You’re not keeping anybody away.