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Adventureland

Director:  Greg Mottola
Year Released:  2009
Rating:  2.0

Oberlin grad Jesse Eisenberg's plan to tour Europe in the summer is dashed when he finds out his parents are in financial straits - desperate for some kind of income, he takes a menial job operating a games booth at the title amusement park, where he meets an array of other lost souls (including love interest Kristen Stewart). It does do a nice job duplicating the lazy "screw this entire world, let's get high" attitude of a lot of kids during their menial summer jobs, but that lazy attitude also carries itself into the handling of the routine (post-) teen storyline - lots of miscommunication and 'secrets' (Stewart's character is involved with a married man, Eisenberg's character is a virgin) and backstabbing before love wins in the end (or, at the very least, Eisenberg loses that pesky virginity). Mottola seems reluctant to just let this be a comedy, so when he leans more towards bittersweet nostalgia it becomes a half-cocked Dazed and Confused (or something an uninspired Cameron Crowe might squeeze out: for one thing, Mottola uses classic songs to reflect the characters' internal states far too often). Martin Starr, on the other hand, is interesting as the droll, pipe-smoking Russian Studies major (fans of Freaks & Geeks are already quite aware of his talent).

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