Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds
Director: Greg Mottola
Running Time: 106 mins
Adventureland is an American film about a college graduate who, after finding his family can’t support his post-graduation ambitions, takes a job at a local amusement park, only to make the greatest friends he’s ever had.
Now, I love a good bit of indie romantic comedy drama, I think it’s a really underrated genre that works with great powerful emotion and excellent humour. However, this was a bit of a disappointment in that field, because despite being an engaging watch, it was way too predictable and nowhere near impacting enough.
Let’s start with the comedy here first of all. Initially, there’s a decent bit of humour and some good laughs, but it’s a mark of the genre to keep the comedy more subtle and intelligent. It is a fun watch throughout, and there are laughs here and there, but this is in all honesty more of a drama than any sort of comedy, with much more focus put onto the plot than the laughs.
The plot in itself isn’t that bad, it’s just disappointingly predictable. The main story follows the exact steps of the genre’s formula from start to finish despite having some glaring opportunities to try something a little different throughout. As a result, the film feels a little overlong and unimpressive as you see everything coming at you every step of the way.
Now, the romance is probably the best part of the entire film. Yes, it’s as predictable as the plot as a whole, but it really works thanks to some excellent central performances. Jesse Eisenberg is massively likeable in the lead role, playing a similar character to his normal awkward young kid, but not going too far so as to become comical and annoying, he’s perfectly believable.
Kristen Stewart proves once again here that she is indeed a fantastic actress. Her character is your typically troubled young adult, but she puts some great emotion into her role to put that trouble across a lot more vividly than many actresses, again making it a convincing character, and one that you can really empathise with and feel for.
As a result, the two are great to watch on screen, and together, they have even better chemistry, making it one of the more convincing indie romances, despite the story being so predictable and the comedy a little on the weak side, and that’s why this gets a 7.0 from me.