New DVD: Adventureland (15)By Anna Roberts
January 21, 2010
Set in the summer of 1987, Adventureland – from the makers of Superbad – was hailed a critical success on its release last year.
But that does not mean the ordinary person will not like it too.
A coming-of-age story in many ways, it focuses on James (Jesse Eisenberg) who – owing to his parents’ financial difficulties – discovers he has to work one summer.
A recently graduated university student more interested in literature than life experience, the only job he can get is at a local theme park called Adventureland.
There – set to a soundtrack of fantastic 1980s’ hits – he meets Em (Kristen Stewart) whom he falls increasingly in love with.
But the path of true love never runs smooth and Em is harbouring a secret – an affair with married man, Mike (Ryan Reynolds).
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Meanwhile the park’s super girl Lisa P – to everyone’s astonishment – goes on a date with James, who immediately feels guilty.
It is difficult to describe Adventureland because while it is sweet and funny, it doesn’t have much of a plot.
But this is not to say it is bad – some of the best films focus more on characters than storylines and the abilities of the lead actors more than make up for any pitfalls.
Stewart, better known for her role in Twilight, is good. But the real star is the adorable Eisenberg.
There are scores of funny moments in Adventureland and the film – especially some of the delightful supporting characters – will pull at your heartstrings.
It is a commendable effort but nothing amazing. More of a slightly rickety waltzer than a super-fast roller coaster, Adventureland embraces the art of subtlety – and that’s a good thing.