Iffy for 16+
Scathingly funny "mean girl" story has lots of drinking.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this black comedy from the writer of Juno has mature themes about self identity, what it means to be an adult, and how some people never grow out of their high school stereotypes. There's also a lot of drinking; the main character, Mavis (Charlize Theron), is often drunk and even crashes her car after getting wasted. What's more, she's unapologetically mean, rude, judgmental, and self absorbed. Strong language is frequent ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and "bitch" are used in nearly every exchange), and the product placements continuous. Mavis has a couple of one-night stands and kisses a married man; some scenes show her barely dressed.
- Families can talk about how Young Adult portrays the ultimate "Mean Girl" character. Is Mavis likable? Do movie characters need to be appealing? Teens: Do you know anyone at your school who acts like Mavis?
- What are Mavis' redeeming qualities? Does she learn any real life lessons? How does she "grow" in the movie?
- How does high school status affect the characters in the movie? Did any of them outgrow their high school roles?
The good stuff
Messages: While the characters' behavior is often far from admirable, there's a message about being truly happy with the life you have -- not the one you wished you had.
Role models: Mavis is almost entirely unsympathetic and says and does things that no one would consider role model behavior; she's unapologetically mean, rude, judgmental, and self absorbed, Matt tries to be the voice of reason, but Mavis won't listen to him. The only positive role models in are Buddy and his wife Beth, who are in a loving relationship and don't turn Mavis away even when she acts so unhinged around them.
What to watch for
Violence: Mavis crashes her Mini Cooper after drunk driving. Matt tells a horrifying story about how he was disfigured by bullies in high school.
Sex: There are a couple of kisses, and one love scene shows lots of Theron's skin -- she's wearing only panties and strapless bra cups. Mavis has a couple of one-night stands -- one after an awkward date and the other after an emotional confrontation.
Language: Lots of swearing, including "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," "d--k," "p--y," "hell," "oh my God" (as an exclamation), and the more.
Consumerism: Prominently featured brands include Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Apple, Diet Coke, McDonald's, Hampton Inn, Mini Cooper, Volkswagen, Chipotle, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Jeep, General Mills, Wii, Dynex, Philosophy, Hello Kitty, and Playtex.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Mavis drinks and drinks and drinks. She's always on her way to getting drunk on beer, wine, or the homemade liquor that Matt distills himself. She also drinks and drives.
Fan Reviews provided by
finally a comedy worth going to the movies for by barbiesparkles
this won't be for everyone- the humor is dark and cynical, with lots of irony. it's in the realm of larry david and louis ck. but if you want to watch another bland comedy stay home and watch tv.
and i am so excited that the lead female character is interesting. (It is also written by Diablo Cody, so it makes sense) Bridesmaids was in that turf and hopefully we will see more films about compelling, flawed, interesting women. i'm tired of the bland pretty girls from the hollywood mill. And it IS ironic that Charlize is playing this role- but she is great in it!
Charlize Tries But "Cynical Adult Does Not by gabbycorner
I love Charlize Theron and she does not disappoint in her acting in this film. It's the script that fails here. Mavis Gray the character that Ms. Theron portrays is a very unhappy woman and an alcoholic to boot, who can't even take care of a dog, no less herself. She returns to her old town in Minnesota to "get back" her old high school boyfriend ( a always reliable Patrick Wilson). If I were her, I would have stayed the Miniapple, since she returns more narcissistic, sour, cynical and a total overall wreck than she was in high school, which according to the screenplay evidenly was her peak. It's been downhill ever since. I failed to mention Buddy her old love is married and has a new little baby girl. This doesn't bother Mavis in the least...she wants what she wants and secretly feels entitled to. Let's just say, does Mavis change in the end...No., Does she learn from past mistakes,,,No. Is she still unhappy, alcoholic and narcisstic..Yes. Was it at all funny or touching...A Big No!
Interesting look at mental illness and hero worship by CCLyons
Charlize Theron is amazing! Her Mavis, is NOT likeable. She's a liar and alcoholic (probably to cover up multiple mental problems, including depression, narcissism, and sociopathy). She's detestable, emptily walking around with a perpetual scowl until she needs to turn on the charm to get what she wants. Most interesting is that several times she recognizes how crazy she is and attempts to reach out, but is met with indifference or worse.
The climax of the movie is especially haunting as it brings together mental illness and baseless hero worship and asks how and if Mavis can be redeemed. There are repeated scenes of Mavis watching the Kardashians and in many ways, She is like a Kardashian in her small town. The question is can she overcome the fantasy she's created to finally grow up or will she remain unhappy and empty with the trappings of success. The movie is a powerful character study as well as a scorching look at societal values.
What could I do with $13.00? by dasindonna
Sitting in a theatre thinking about the $13 you spent on the ticket is not a good sign. I thought about leaving an hour intoYoung Adult but was with friends and didn't want to be rude. The positive: Charlize Theron is a beautiful woman who is willing to put aside her looks in the roles she plays.
depressing, pointless, bad script by lindafab
Diablo should have quit while she was ahead. This movie has no redeeming value, no message, and it just leaves you feeling depressed and like you just wasted your time. Writing was terrible. I don't know how it got such good reviews.
Loved it by slowkrawler01
I truly feel that there's a little bit of Mavis in everyone out there. Except for a few of the plot twists, I found the movie completely believable. Mavis is a mess, but a somewhat lovable one. I honestly left the theatre wondering what would happen to her. So, Diablo/Brooke, if you're listening, how about a sequel? Or sitcom?
Coming of teen years! by chaparracheeks
It is just as hilarious as Juno but better for those early thirty year old who have refused to grow up. It is a must go! loved it laughed all through out the movie.
Young Adult was interesting, rather dark and funny. by kristineimoore
Charlize Theron was terrific, as was the rest of the cast. Saw this movie with middle aged husband and two twentysomething sons. We all four enjoyed it.
Shallow by occasional_goer
This film offers nothing. It's not funny, challenging, eye-opening, motivating or informative. You are left wondering why you stayed in the theatre. I love Charlize, generally, but this role was boring and predictable. Enjoyable moments came from Patton's performance. Otherwise you have a story about nothing other than a very unhappy small town girl who is looking to wreck a marriage and doesn't care who it hurts.
Not Worth It by Jboblett86
I am not generally overly critical of movies as long as they entertain me. This movie did not entertain me. I walked out of there wandering what the point of the movie was. I would not watch this again and would not recommend this movie to my friends. Hate to say that cause I love Charlize but the story line just missed the mark.