Film Review: Adventureland

Do you ever get to that stage where you seem to have been saying you'll watch a film forever and then never get round to watching it, and then it randomly shows up on TV? That's happened to me a couple of times recently with two movies, both of which I'll be blogging about this week. First up is Adventureland, a coming-of-age comedy set in a Pittsburgh theme park in the 1980s. It stars Jesse Eisenberg as James, a college graduate whose parents tell him they won't be able to afford to help pay for his trip to Europe before he goes to grad school, and who ends up getting a summer job at the Adventureland of the title, where he sets out on a summer of love and self-discovery.

I am a sucker for a good 80s-themed movie - an awful lot of my favourite films are either made or set in that time period - and so I had high hopes for Adventureland. I can safely say I wasn't disappointed. Admittedly it's more a film to raise a smile and a giggle than outright laughter, but the setting is captured perfectly in the music and the characters' looks which gives it a great, authentic feel.

I was also particularly impressed with the performances, especially Jesse Eisenberg in the lead role and Kristen Stewart as the love interest. Granted I haven't seen The Social Network yet, and admittedly since making that Eisenberg seems to have gone back to these types of low-budget comedies, but Eisenberg is perfectly cast as the sweet, geeky, nerdy, socially awkward James. And it's quite nice to see Kristen Stewart playing a character with a bit of personality - it's a shame she's been typecast by the Twilight films as from what else I've seen of her she's a much better actress than those films allow her to be. The supporting cast is also really strong and adds great depth to the film, particularly Martin Starr as James' deadpanning fellow games worker Joel, Bill Hader as Bobby the games manager, who is brilliantly ridiculous, and Ryan Reynolds playing completely against type as Connell, the womanising, guitar-playing maintenance guy.

Overall, this is a charming if lightweight comedy which is perfect if you need something to chill out watching on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I'll definitely be watching it again if I can.

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