Edge

Movie Review: ‘Adventureland’

Adventureland only succeeds because of the talent of its leading man, Jesse Eisenberg. Eisenberg, an actor probably best known for his role in 2005’s stunning The Squid and the Whale, carries the film. Directed by Superbad‘s Greg Mottola, Adventureland strives to be more profound than its predecessor, yet lacks the poignancy necessary for such a feat.

Set in 1987, James’ plans for post-college graduation are falling apart in spectacular fashion. In order to finance a stint at Columbia University, he takes a menial job at Adventureland, perhaps the lamest amusement park in the world. While there, he finds kindred spirits, falls in love, and attempts to escape from a dreary career at a local university.

Eisenberg, who seems to have made a career out of playing 1980s-era misfits, is an actor of immense talent that is simply misused in this film. Kristen Stewart of Twilight infamy tries her best to show a range of emotions but seems to be stuck in that patented role. The funniest performances come from Saturday Night Live‘s Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, two shameless comedians whose brief scenes provide the best moments in the film.

Props go to the film’s music supervisor, who filled the soundtrack with brilliant, often hilariously-dated songs like Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus,” David Bowie’s “Modern Love” and The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”

Adventureland tries to achieve a balance between being a farcical sex comedy along the lines of Superbad and being a profound coming-of-age story. For the most part, it succeeds. It’s not as hilarious as it thinks it is, nor is it as deep, yet it remains a surprisingly worthy film.

Rating: 2.5 / 4 stars

March 25, 2009

Reporters

Sarah B. Pilchick

Senior EDGE Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Either the Miami Hurricanes get a collective adrenaline rush from heart-palpitating fourth quarters, ...

Mark Richt is not overly concerned with depth. Not when the eighth-ranked Miami Hurricanes (6-0, 4-0 ...

After jumping three spots from No. 10 to No. 7 last week in the Amway Coaches Poll (one spot better ...

University of Miami weak-side linebacker Michael Pinckney is definitely old-school Miami Hurricane. ...

The question came straight at Ahmmon Richards, like a tight spiral. And this time, he was locked in. ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Hurricanes grabbed four interceptions and another ACC victory as they defeated Syracuse, 27-19, ...

The Miami women's tennis team wrapped up play Sunday the ITA Southeast Regional Championships P ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Kolby Bird had a career-high 21 kills, but the Hurricanes dropped a five-set battle to Notre Dame on ...

The Miami soccer team recognized its four seniors Sunday afternoon and then dropped a hard-fought 2- ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.