Youth In Revolt (2010)

Nick, why are you naked too?


Director: Miguel Arteta

Cast: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Ari Graynor, Zach Galifianakis, Steve Buscemi, Ray Liotta

Genre: Drama/Comedy/Romance

Type: Independent

Running Time: 90 minutes

Rated R

I’m going to die a virgin– Nick Twisp

Twisp (Cera) is not really established as a ‘dork’ per se. He does not come off as a man’s man, no, but he does not come off as a wimp either. He is simply your average 16 year old boy. He loves vinyl records, film, and has an endearing dry sense of humour. Then again, that sense of humour stems from Cera himself, whose trademark is humour he doesn’t acknowledge. It’s often self-deprecating and subtle, not over the top and obnoxious. I think it works for him yet again in Youth in Revolt.

Nick’s life was fairly bland and mediocre until the day he met Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday). She was what he was waiting for. The lengths he goes to for her cultivates qualities he never knew he possessed and confidence he never knew he quite had. What I enjoyed most about this is how refreshing it was. I wouldn’t be so quick to say it was original, because ever since Juno came out we’ve definitely seen a string of movies trying to do the same ‘original’ thing. But, it was interesting to see Cera have a bad boy alter ego and talk dirty to a girl- I want to tickle your belly button…from the inside. A lot of people comment on how Cera plays the same role over and over again and how he won’t last much longer because of it. I disagree. Yes, his roles are often quite similar. But, Cera is a stand out from several other actors in his generation. His style is a rarity and I think that  that is greatly appreciated. He definitely proved me wrong with his alter ego, Francois Dillinger. I initially thought that there was no way he could pull off a reckless, nonchalant, smooth talker and yet, he did. He may have more under his sleeve than you think.

Sheeni is not the typical stuck up blonde you would expect her to be either. She has the same interests as Nick and loves everything French. She is both a goody-goody and a bad girl. It’s confusing, off beat and I happily accept it.

The Long and Short: I had read a lot of reviews on this film before seeing it, many calling it “a waste of time” or “pretentious”. Me? I think it was good. Quite hilarious. Aside from the fact that the whole coming-of-age thing is my guilty pleasure, Youth In Revolt possessed a darker, more sarcastic undertone, which gave it enough substance to be considered more than just a comedy. I mean, some of the lengths that Nick goes to for Sheeni are a bit over dramatic, but all the same, what would the movie be without it?

My Recommendation: I recommend this for fans of  Whip It, The Breakfast Club, The Education of Charlie Banks or just that witty dry sense of humour Cera has.

Favourite Scene: Every scene where Francois Dillinger showed up and caused nothing but madness and mayhem.

Verdict:  B+


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