That’s why the lady is a tramp

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

DI­REC­TOR Ja­son Reit­man and writer Di­ablo Cody re­unite to re­cap­ture some of the skewed and shrewd magic of their hit Juno.

Char­l­ize Theron turns her­self in­side out to play a role as against type as her Os­car­win­ning dis­play in Mon­ster.

Stand- up comic Pat­ton Oswalt ( Neil from the United States of Tara ) chimes in with a per­for­mance so finely ren­dered it makes you wish his char­ac­ter was the real sub­ject of the picture.

And yet Young Adult just never grows up enough to get over the kooky nov­elty of its premise.

It is a movie so im­pressed with its own pitch – hey folks, come and watch classy Char­l­ize be all slobby and slutty! – that it doesn’t ever bother craft­ing any kind of worth­while fol­low- through.

Theron plays Mavis, a boozy, bitchy writer in her late- 30s who re­turns home to her small town to ‘‘ res­cue’’ her teenage sweet­heart ( Pa­trick Wil­son, pic­tured with Theron) from a happy mar­riage and set­tled home life.

Mavis is so delu­sion­ally self- ob­sessed, and ca­su­ally self- de­struc­tive, that the er­rors of her ways sim­ply never oc­cur to her.

Young Adult wrings ev­ery gag it can from the mis­an­thropy of Mavis. A size­able num­ber, in fact. The pity of it all is that not many are all that amus­ing.

The sharpest and best lines in the picture go to Oswalt, play­ing a crip­pled for­mer class­mate of Mavis who knows ex­actly what she is up to.

While Theron’s abra­sively un­like­able per­for­mance can­not be faulted, the film is fun­da­men­tally flawed from the get- go.

Though there are some fine in­di­vid­ual scenes, the one- note story told here never sat­is­fies or en­gages.

Now show­ing State Cinema

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