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on May 6, 2010
Youth in Revolt is the adaptation of C.D. Paynes cult book by the same title. It follows the storyline of his first three novellas (later combined into a single book) that follow a young man by the name of Nick Twisp, who after discovering the love of his life does whatever he must to stay with her.

The film itself is a far cry from the hilarious prose of the witty novel that inspired it. However by itself, Youth in Revolt is surely a great romantic comedy, and Michael Cera's best performance to date. If you are looking for a short, well-directed, well-acted and hilarious romp then look no further. This is a movie I think all movie buffs should add to their collection and one that sadly went unnoticed in theaters.

After you watch the movie, if you find the characters entertaining I highly suggest picking up the books. They are a light read, very entertaining and even more well-crafted than this short feature film.

Two Thumbs Up!
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on May 25, 2013
There aren't very many adaptations of books into film that manage to not to wreck themselves. I am very happy to say Youth in Revolt does not mangle the book, but in fact adds a layer of realism and earnest emotion that the book strays away from.

Youth in Revolt is a teenage fantasy coming-of-age story set in central and northern California, about one young man's quest for love. Beyond this basic setting, we have no other cues to tell us when the action is happening; the protagonist Nick uses a computer that looks like it's from 1992, the teenage characters all speak with Shakespearean wit, and everyone seems to regularly write letters and keep journals. (Like I said, it's a fantasy.)

This otherworldly element was fortunately imported in from the original book. Another spectacular motif that was thankfully maintained is showing the extreme lengths teenage guys will go for love; some of the more twisted elements of the novel (like Nick drugging his girlfriend so she is expelled from school and forced to go back to her hometown, also where he forced his father to move) ring true to the source material. Which I think is really commendable and brave on the filmmakers' part; not many studios would make a movie where the character we are supposed to sympathize with pulls that kind of stunt, even in the name of love.

What the film does even better is bringing this often-fantastical story back down to earth. Eventually Nick's crimes (yes, they are crimes) do catch up with him and he is forced to reconcile with his past, while in the book he is able to skirt it yet again. In literature though, disbelief is much more easily suspended than in film, so it is refreshing to see this problem actually brought to light for a medium in which that plot development is simply implausible.

The film also humanizes the actions taken by the characters. Both the young lovers, Nick and Sheeni, pull some pretty bad s*** throughout the course of the story. Exhausted with the situation, Sheeni eventually tells Nick that she can't put up with Nick's shenanigans any longer. "I'm tired of being alone." He thoughtfully replies, "I've been alone all my life. That's why I'm doing this." A real motive is fueling their love, not just the boredom of disaffected youth (which appears to be the case in the novel).

One minor (unrealistic) critique I have of the film is how comparatively minor in scope the movie is when looking at the novel. The original is an epic 500-page trilogy of books (bound together in one volume) and deservedly so; Nick goes through a lot to finally win over Sheeni. I had been expecting similar treatment for the film (clocking in at at least 2 1/2 hours?) but alas, my contemporary American epic can apparently be told in 90 minutes. Still, I'm amazed they pulled off the stellar project they did.

This movie seems perfect for our contemporary era of culture and sophistication re-entering the base requirements for courtship. The characters (convincingly) discuss arthouse film and dress fashionably (but affordably). Despite its more fantastical elements, this film still seems incredibly weighted and a more realistic depiction of teenage life (well, mine anyways!) than the typical teen sex comedy fare you get in the multiplexes. By far the best high school film in recent memory, and one of the best movies of 2009.
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on January 12, 2015
I couldn't find this movie anywhere and suddenly had a craving to watch it again. It was the genuine copy of the movie and the movie is still awesome. I remembered the movie after watching "Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus". Yeah.... Yeah, that's a very interesting film too that not everyone is going to like, but I did. This is another reason why I love Amazon. I couldn't find this movie at 3 different major retailers, locally and it was not available on demand or via other popular streaming services. Thanks!
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on January 9, 2010
Well, it's been a long wait, but Youth in Revolt is finally hitting the big screen in a wide release. And it's worth the wait. I laughed through just about the whole movie. And before I get deep into the review, I have read the book. So let's get into it.

1. Quite short. A 90 minute romp through a 500-page novel. What?
2. CUTS! Many characters from the novel such as Apurva and Fuzzy hve been severed from the movie. Maybe Apurva was cut from them film to emphasize Nick's love for Sheeni. But Fuzzy's cut? He's the whole reason they can go to the French boarding school in Act II. What?
3. No Carlotta, really! If you have read the book you know what I mean with this.
That's it for the bad.
1. Hysterical! Does this really need an explanation? It's funny!
2. Animation sequences. These occur at certain points in the film to facilitate scenes. Very creative!
3. Good Acting/Cameos. The film has very good acting. Michael Cera and Portia Doubleday really steal the show. Also, they have an ensemble cast of cameos, such as Fred Willard and Steve Buscemi. Very well acted.
4. Quite faithful to the novel. Miguel Arteta did good with the novel. No new characters were introduced, only cuts.

Overall Score: 9.0 out of 10
A ten, but not really any Carlotta and no Apurva or Fuzzy. And, way too short.
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on November 18, 2014
The story takes place in NorCal - and Lake County, CA where I live. Filmed in MI! WHY didn't they come here to make it...we have LOTS of trailer parks and year-round campers...and odd ducks on modest incomes....
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on April 27, 2011
I will admit it is amusing at parts, and the conception is great. I have not read the novel it is based on, but I heard it was wonderful. After viewing this movie several times, I still cannot decide if it is good. I get a very hipster vibe from the movie, but it does have redeeming moments of comedy.

I apologize-- this review will not help many. I just needed to voice the fact that this movie is hard to place in a category.
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on August 9, 2010
This is a film that seems strange at first watching, but after a second viewing the movie is absolutely hilarious. Similar to films like "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Observe in Report," "Youth in Revolt" is an indie-esque movie with amazing performances praising its great source material. This is my favorite film with Michael Cera, and he definately displays all of his talent in this movie. The ability to play two distinct personalities that do not seem as if they are the same person, is a quality that makes Cera a fine actor. The supporting cast is perfectly formed with actors like Buscemi and Justin Long. I disagree with the critical reviews saying that Cera and Doubleday have no chemistry. Their chemistry is practically flowing out of my big screen and spilling onto the floor. And then I'll have to call Stanley Steamer to clean the chemistry off my rug. Anyway, what makes this a five star film follows:

*Hilarious script due to source material
*Every actor perfect for the role
*Amazing soundtrack that's worth buying
*The indie flavor to the film
*Crisp cinematography
*Animations and claymations(very creative way to move through a scene)

Is it worth getting on blu-ray you ask? Absolutely! The picture looks astonishing. The special features kind of lack, but there's enough to satisfy the casual Blu-rayer. Youth in Revolt is not for everyone, but it's one of my favorite comedies. Now I'm definately drawn to the C.D. Payne books. I'll be satisfied if they're half this entertaining.
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on July 15, 2011
This little gem is part Napoleon Dynamite, part Zombieland, and part Twilight Zone. The basic story, boy meets girl, is old as time, but the bizarre twists and turns it takes along the way to its resolution are hysterical. The hero, a 16 year old named Nick,invents a bad boy alter-ego in an effort to impress the lady of his dreams. She's a teenage francophile, who lives with her attorney father and fanatical mother in a two story mobile home located in a trailer park.

Yes, a trailer park is a strange place for a successful lawyer to reside, but it fits in well with the overall weirdness of the movie.

The persona Nick creates quickly takes on a life of its own. It inspires Nick to engage in increasingly destructive juvenile pranks, culminating in an ill-fated attempt to steal the family car. Just as it appears he and his girl are about to get together, fate intervenes to move them further apart. This only inspires him to adopt more inventive and increasingly illegal tactics to be with her.

Along the way he must cope with his mother's desperate insecurity, his dad's mid-life crisis inspired childishness, and his girl's charming but infuriating eccentricities. He also encounters a bevy of unbalanced characters, such as his girls' older brother, who feeds his parents psychedelic mushrooms as a Thanksgiving Day appetizer.

Dry humor runs throughout the script. For example, when his mother asks, "What man would want a 48 year old woman with stretch marks?" Nick replies, "You're selling yourself short, mom. There are a number of stretch mark fetishists out there, you know."

Off the wall, intensely humorous, and ultimately touching, this is a film that shouldn't be missed. Very highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon April 19, 2011
A little Michael Cera goes a long way -- his trademark diffident, distracted, high-voiced loser act having been losing interest practically since the moment he unrolled it -- so one might be worried about a movie that has Cera in what's essentially two parts. The good news is that he only plays "Michael Cera" for one of those parts, and the other's role is to shove that character as far away from Cera-ness as is possible in an hour and a half.

YOUTH IN REVOLT is funny, in a cartoony way, but never has any underlying seriousness to ground that comedy in anything. Cera's Nick Twisp is a sixteen-year-old boy living in Oakland, CA, whose divorced mother falls for a succession of lousy men and whose father is living with a very young woman whose gorgeousness is just another joke. Nick is our main character, center, and narrator; we never get out of his skull or away from his point of view. (So, if you can't stand Cera at all, stay far away from this movie.) And Nick, like all teenage boys, is obsessed with losing his virginity.

If YOUTH IN REVOLT had any balance, or viewpoint outside of Nick, it could have become the Apatow Era's answer to Little Darlings, but it doesn't. On the other hand, it's more sexless than you might expect, since Nick quickly latches onto one girl (Portia Doubleday as Sheeni Saunders) as his True Love and channels all of his adolescent energy into winning her and getting back to her. (They meet at a trailer-park somewhere off to the north of Oakland, where she lives and he vacations with his mother and her then-boyfriend.) For reasons that are sufficient to the plot of the movie, but don't actually make a whole lot of sense, Nick spends most of the running time of YOUTH IN REVOLT trying to be "bad," which will get him back to Sheeni but ever-more drive her very religious and controlling parents away from him.

So Nick manifests an alter ego -- the Nouvelle Vague-inspired French-accented "Francois Dillinger" -- who gives him advice on how to be bad at every turn, and rapidly finds himself both in more and more trouble and having more and more fun. If it wasn't so programmatic and constricted, YOUTH IN REVOLT could have been honestly, wickedly subversive, so it can be disappointing to see it settle into its solid groove, but there's a long list of good actors working in support of Cera's double act -- from Justin Long and Zach Galifianakis to Fred Willard and M. Emmett Walsh -- who keep the movie lively.

Cera is fine at the center, and his sunglasses-wearing, smoking Francois could show a way for him to find a different kind of character to play -- he makes a good piece of bored Eurotrash. But YOUTH IN REVOLT is, in the end, a movie about revolt that doesn't actually know what it's revolting against; it's funny enough, and a pleasant way to spend 90 minutes, but the fog of lost possibilities is so thick the actual movie can sometimes be difficult to see.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 15, 2012
Somehow I never got around to seeing this in the theaters so it finally arrived on Blu ray and I'm pleasantly surprised. On the downside, we see Michael Cera playing the same character again. That is, the high school geek who hasn't been laid. He "outruns his coverage" - I love that line - while on a summer break by the lake. Portia Doubleday plays the love interest and she's very good. Throw in a supporting cast like Fred Willard, Steve Buscemi, Justin Long, Zach Galifianakis and others and you have an interesting and fun time. There's nothing mind bending here, just a straight forward teen romcom that is better than most.

Also watch for Rooney Mara as the high school roommate of Portia's character. She has a small role but is destined for stardom in the remake of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" playing Lisbeth Salander. I can now envision her in the role.
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