By Fred Topel | Image property of Columbia Pictures
Youth in Revolt
Well, you open a movie with Michael Cera jerking off and you definitely tell the audience what they’re in for. Youth in Revolt is a teen sex comedy, but one for cultured teens.
Review: Youth in Revolt
Nick Twisp (Cera) likes Sinatra and French New Wave films, but like everyone else his age, he thinks about sex all the time. To impress Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday), he decides to become a bad boy. A sort of alter ego, French hipster Francois Dillinger, helps him accomplish his evil tasks.
The imaginary friend motif works surprisingly well. Though Cera plays both characters in a scene, it’s seamless when one performs the action and the other stands by. I don’t know why that’s surprising. I guess that’s the way good filmmaking is. It’s not a gimmick. It’s a real narrative device, so tangible you forget sometimes that it’s just one person, the interaction is so distinct.
His shenanigans go from mildly annoying to truly destructive pretty quickly. The film goes with it ‘til the end and never cops out.
Cera has definitely established his own style of humor, so you know when a Michael Cera movie comes out, it’s going to be Michael Cera comedy. It suits Youth in Revolt and it’s funny stuff.
The film is as true as any about teen feelings, though the references will speak more to highbrow kids. It’s sophisticated sex comedy. I would call it pretentious, but lovingly so. Then there are purely immature sex jokes, and they just go there and it’s great.
Animation adds a whimsical touch, but it’s cynical whimsy.
Youth in Revolt manages to be edgy, but not irresponsible. Nick’s motives are so specific to one person with one obscure interest that there’s no real danger of copycatting. Not that I care if there is. Let idiots try to copy him. See how laid they get in real life.