DVD Review: Adventureland

Adventureland DVD Review: Adventureland

Adventureland is an affectionately written and directed movie from Greg Mottola, who previously bought us the smash hit Superbad. Adventureland is more leisurely paced and sentimental than Superbad, but still has a few poop and vomit jokes to please the core audience. Less raunchy than many of its teen comedy ilk, but not very funny, Adventureland is sort of an amiable mess, if not a disaster.

Adventureland is about a young adult named James Brennan (the talented star of The Squid and the Whale) who has to forgo his dream of grad school and get a crappy summer job at a rundown amusement park because of his parents financial problems. He meets an Emo alternative girl (dour Kristen Stewart of Twilight) and must contend with the weirdo owners of the park. He starts to fall for Em, even though Em is having a relationship with a married man (a near comatose Ryan Reynolds). Reynolds smirk and smarmy charms are dialed down here, and he’s not particularly good at being anything but creepy in the movie. The terrific 80s pop tunes and wistful sense of nostalgia are pretty much all the movie has going for it. The DVD is surprisingly feature-packed. There’s a warm commentary with writer/director Greg Mottola and actor Jesse Eisenberg, deleted scenes, and a decent making-of featurette.

Adventureland is something of a disappointment. Despite getting good reviews, its just not very funny, and extremely slow paced. It wants to be a kind of hybrid of a Wes Anderson flick along with a more typical teen comedy and it fails on both counts, but it least the soundtrack is terrific.

DVD Grade: C

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