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Atticus Finch Rebels Against Michael Cera In Miguel Arteta's YOUTH IN REVOLT!

Beaks here...

Director Miguel Arteta is no stranger to fucked up endings. The conclusion to his first film, STAR MAPS, drew boos when I saw it back in 1997, while the final ten minutes of CHUCK & BUCK was... well, you really ought to see it for yourself. So I'm not surprised to hear that the finale of his latest, YOUTH IN REVOLT, is dividing audiences. I'm still looking forward to it, but, according to the below review from "Atticus Finch", your time would be better spent busting up a chifforobe.
Hi, Coolers! Attended a screening last night of the new Michael Cera comedy YOUTH IN REVOLT. We were told we were the first audience to see it, which is always pleasant; kind of like taking the first bite of a new candy bar. There are mild spoilers laden within, so tread carefully. The first sign that we were in trouble was that this was being released by The Weinstein Brothers under their Dimension label. Isn't that where movies go to die a direct to DVD death? I hadn't heard of the series of books this was based on, three tomes by C.D. Payne (that have so far been lifted for the plot of the film 100 Girls, a failed tv pilot, and a stage adaptation) but judging from the audience reaction last night, I'm not missing anything. The film is a series of misadventures about a virginal young man named Nick Twisp (Cera, playing the same character he has in his last three films). Nick is awkward, artistic, and fairly sure no girl will ever want him. He lives with his trailer-trash mother (Jean Smart, very funny) and her newest boyfriend Jerry (Zack Galifianakis, wearing a ferocious beard and oozing slime) a truck driver with short man's disease and a terminal boner. Jerry sells three sailors a defective car, they come looking for their money back, and Jerry decides the three of them need to go on vacation, right away. They end up at a seedy trailer park near a lake (after a truly awful claymation title sequence that needs to be rethought before release). The trailer's a shithole, but Nick meets the girl of his dreams, Sheeni Saunders (newcomer Portia Doubleday). She's young, blonde, and one of those women who amuse themselves by destroying the men who adore her. Poor Nick, a slave to his hormones and a belief that Sinatra is how the way the world really works, falls hard...and his fate is sealed. She likes him, she has a boyfriend so don't touch her, maybe just one kiss, touch my breast, maybe I'll break up with my boyfriend if you move here. Nick's father has just lost his job, and Sheeni says she can get him one nearby; then all Nick has to do is get kicked out of his mother's house and then they can be together. But his mother is living on the child support checks from Dad and needs him to survive. Time to revolt. Nick develops an alter-ego to do his dirty work for him, a cool Frenchman named Francois (still Cera, just with a pencil-thin mustache and a constantly dangling cigarette). Francois destroys his mother's car (along with half of Berkeley's dining district) and Nick gets his wish; he moves in with his father, only to find that Sheeni is now attending school 300 miles away. This is a good example of the "thinking with your dick will get you into trouble" kind of film. Things go from bad to pretty fucking terrible for poor Nick, to the point where there is an all-points bulletin for his arrest, leading to a truly hilarious scene where Nick tries to fake his own death (when attempting to fake your own death by sending your car plummeting over a cliff into the river, try to ascertain the depth of the river first.) Director Miguel Arteta (of Chuck and Buck and StarMaps fame) does a good job of escalating Nick's dilemma, and the film is full of familiar faces (Steve Buscemi plays the dad, Ray Liotta is a cop who comes to bring his mom bad news and stays on, Fred Willard is a next door neighbor who harbors illegal aliens). I must admit I sighed when the film started, as the feel was lukewarm Juno, but as the film progressed I warmed up quite a bit. I actually started to care about the characters, and as things got worse for Nick, I began to hope that everything would turn out well in the end. MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD! And that's where the movie shoots itself in the foot. The abrupt, slap in your face, what the Fuck? ending. Nick, having eluded the police, screwed up faking his death, and alienating the girl he loves, shows up at her house in drag. He apologizes to Sheeni, tells her he wants her to be happy, she melts, they make love, he falls asleep...and the bitch calls the police on him! Why did you do that, he asks, obviously hurt. Because I don't want to marry a fugitive, she tells him. Then she says she loves him. Then he is taken away by the police while Sinatra plays on the soundtrack. What? The audience hated the ending. Haaaaated it. The customary applause at the end was muted and there were murmurs of "rip-off" and "are you fucking kidding me?". All the goodwill that had been built up in the past two hours was gone. I read an interview with Cera saying that he wanted to retire from movies, so he must have seen the same ending. If the Weinstein's want to save the film, they better fix the ending first. If you use this, please call me Atticus Finch!

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 28, 2008, 1:19 a.m. CST


    by Giphangster


  • Oct. 28, 2008, 1:23 a.m. CST


    by shellfishh

    Second is the new First.

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 2:25 a.m. CST


    by The Dum Guy

    for good comedy.<br>

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 2:33 a.m. CST

    but the question is...

    by The InSneider

    how was adhir kalyan? that kid's goin' places. mark my words.

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 3:01 a.m. CST

    Kind of like how I felt watching The Strangers

    by liljuniorbrown

    The ending ruined any good will I developed during that shit fest. I wasn't looking for a ride off into the sunset happy ending but I would have enjoyed some kind of pay off to the beating of the couple. I mean even LeatherFace fucked up and got hurt a couple of times during TCM,but the teenagers in The Strangers were just too crafty and clever. Hollywood has produced shit lately.

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 3:19 a.m. CST

    Retire Cera!

    by kungfuhustler84

    Please retire.<p>I never wanna see your boring, type-cast face again.

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 3:53 a.m. CST

    Holy shit, I didn't know this had already filmed

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    great book.

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Very well written review

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    if a bit summary heavy.

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 5:37 a.m. CST

    Filmed this summer in Michigan

    by theBigE

    All over the news and internet this summer, Sonicdeathmonkey. They filmed this in northern Michigan and in Ann Arbor, apparently, back in June and July. Locals were reporting seeing Cera and Justin Long around town, at the mall, etc. Michigan is the new Vancouver thanks to tax breaks. Drew Barrymore and Clint Eastwood did their latest movies here this summer too, from what I hear.

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 6:01 a.m. CST

    but the real question is

    by c4andmore

    where did jerry send the three sailors on vacation to?

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 7:58 a.m. CST

    That's the ending?

    by Darkman

    They make love, she rats him out than says she loves him? <br><br> Fucking cunt. I'll say it again: fucking cunt. Thanks for the heads-up. I like a lot of the people in this film, but not nearly that much.

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 8:07 a.m. CST

    lmfao at that ending

    by turketron

    That's almost as retarded as the ending to Dracula 3000, where the ship they're on explodes out of nowhere and the movie just ends.<p><p> Oh yeah, I watched The Strangers last night, and yeah... ending sucked.

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 8:18 a.m. CST

    I LOVED Michael Cera in Arrested Development

    by RockLobster800

    just as everything in that show was above standard excellent, he really made you feel for George Michael....although when he made the shift to films thats when the trouble seemed to have started. We now hear the cry of "type cast" and I'm afraid I have to agree...the guy seriously needs to up his game now. He seems to be playing George Michael in everything he's in, only without the genius writing standard-I mean, I'll defend Juno against most things, but it's major fault lay in how sidelined and under-developed a character Paulie Bleaker was...the character was a copy and paste George Michael and a borderline waste of space, considering how many potential plot lines could have been written about the father of the kid, instead of "ah, sure he just doesn't want to get involved and he'll hook up with her at the end without giving a shit about the pregnancy". But judging by how good he is at doing that same character makes me think the guy has a great, well rounded actor in him-he just needs to get off his ass and stop making safe bets in his roles. Same seems to be happening for Ellen Page too-I have no doubt judging from the range of Hard Candy to Juno that she could be a Jodie Foster for the new millenium, but since Juno she seems to be starring in...well things that sound like Juno. The moral of the story is don't waste your potential kids! Here endeth the lesson...that neither of them will read so it doesnt matter :S

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Fuck the test audience.

    by Andre the Frog

    The reason 98 percent of American movies are crap is because test audiences pretend to like things that secretly bore them. It's tyranny by the asses.

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST

    c4and more, thank you...

    by moviemecca

    My wife just pointed that error out to me as well, suggesting "Jerry and his family" instead. My bad.

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 10:02 a.m. CST

    sonic death monkey

    by moviemecca

    You're right, too much plot, not enough tits.

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Great book

    by enderandrew

    However, I have trouble picturing Cera in a role so bold. The movie is also supposed to focus on 14-year old (if I recall), which explains the hormonal insanity.

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 5:21 p.m. CST

    is the boy on boy oral sex still there?

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    or did that get cut?

  • Oct. 28, 2008, 7:53 p.m. CST

    I loved the book...

    by Barrock

    But it's length could never be properly made into a movie. A mini series would have been way better. And yes, that ending sucks.

  • Oct. 29, 2008, 6:04 a.m. CST

    Early Shitty Christmas News

    by potusom

    Having been a fan of the book since I accidentally picked up an autographed copy in the Bargain bin at B&N, this review depresses me. As laugh out loud as the book was, it sounds to me like this movie is going to be a disappointment to the book fans.