'Adventureland': Your thoughts

March 31, 2009
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If you attended the screening Tuesday night, please post your comments.

Sorry I missed it. Well, not sorry. I was at the American Cabaret Theatre relaunch concert. Should I go out of my way to see "Adventureland" when it hits theaters?

Your thoughts?
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  • Just okay. I was excited about the movie being set in 1987 (a very good year for me!). I couldn't wait to hear some 80's music, see some big 80's hair and see a little neon and flower power fashion. I was only satisfied with the music. The hair wasn't big enough and the wardrobe was lacking.

    The bright spot in the movie was Matt Bush (before this I knew him only from AT&T's rollover minutes commercials!) as the annoying neighbor/former friend of the main character. With the several known actors in this movie, he was the only one that was memorable to me.

    Bill Hadar and Kristen Wiig did okay with what they were given...they rarely disappoint, but a cardboard cutout of Ryan Reynolds could've done as well as he did. I don't know the boy who played the main character...nor do I care enough to find out. And Kristen Stewart??? My main complaint about Twilight was that Kristen Stewart cannot act. As a matter of fact, I thought she was so bad it was distracting. My opinion of her talent hasn't changed after seeing Adventureland. Although, she's certainly not solely to blame for this movie's flaws...she doesn't help matters.

    I don't think Adventureland will do well in theaters. It's just not funny enough.
  • While the movie was certainly entertaining, it left me feeling pretty depressed. There were more than enough comedic moments, but the overall cinematography, awkward moments and the 1987 date really brought the movie down. On top of that, it painted Pittsburgh as a city which no one would really want to visit let alone live in.

    However, overall, the movie was well done. I do believe it was the intent of the director and producer to create this drab post-undergrad existence regardless of the actual point of the movie, the prevailing lovestory.
  • I was actually pleasantly surprised. How much I like a movie is often colored by whether I think I'll like it before I step into the theater. In this way, it exceeded my expectations. I feared it to be an over-the-top American Pie type of experience. I was actually relieved that they played it pretty straight, with some nice and really funny moments. And I was REALLY relieved that Ryan Reynold's character was played straight.

    I think they captured the awkwardness of love and life at that age much more authentically than many other films in that vein.

    The soundtrack, and the 80s nostalgia was fun as well.

    Lou, I think you might like this one.
  • I left the movie underwhelmed. I think I expected more comedy and less drama. I usually enjoy these kinds of movies, more a slice of life than plot driven, but I never connected to any of the characters. I didn't think the acting was great (especially Kristen Stewart) and left thinking the main character must have been written for Michael Cera, because he acted like every character Michael Cera has ever played.

    I enjoyed the fact the city was set in Pittsburgh because I'm familiar with the town and been to Kennywood many times, the amusement park used in the film.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Having been in my early 20s in 1987, I could really relate to the summer love and trying figure out what my next step in life would be. Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart were delightful. I could really connect with a little bit of each character - the party girl Lisa, the ditzy Paulette, the closet-intellectual Joel... It really took me back.

    I wasn't expecting lots of laughs, didn't really know what to expect, but was quite pleased with movie overall. If you're looking for an adverture movie or slapstick comedy, this isn't the movie for you. If you want some summer romance with retro visuals (get aload of the Pacer and Chevelle!), then you should definately see this movie.
  • Adventureland is a gentle reminder that your early jobs rarely come
    with challenging assignments or responsibilities or any sense of true
    purpose. What those jobs do is help smooth some of your rough
    edges, expose you to myriad personalities and present experiences
    that help define whomever you may, or may not, become.
    I liked the movie. Go see it. The film will give you pause to remember
    why you loved or hated or maybe even miss - your first big summer
    job.
  • I liked it. It was less American Pie and more Garden State.

    The only actors that I knew going in were Kristen Wiig, Bill Hadar, and Ryan Reynolds. Knowing absolutely nothing about the rest of the actors, I thought they did well. Kristen Stewart's character reminded me exactly of someone from college (early 90s), and the rest seemed to fit that area as I remember. Ryan Reynolds didn't fit at all; he didn't look, sound, or act believable to that period. The entire story could have been about the Wiig and Hadar characters, and I would have been fine. Pirate bananas make me laugh.
  • Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and reviews. I (like Lou) am trying to decide whether or not it's worth the time and the money to attend. This film has special appeal for me, as I spent one very long summer in the 1980s performing in a couple of lame, 30 minute revues at an amusement park called -- wait for it -- Adventureland (!?) just outside of Des Moines, IA. And based upon viewing trailers, had actually wondered if filming was done at our old park.

    But even though this was filmed in Pittsburgh, I'm guessing the storylines are very similar to what we experienced back in the day.

    So. Maybe I will check this one out. But I will keep expectations low.
  • I think it's one of those films it's OK to like for no good reason other than you lived in the 80s.

    Pre-viewing I imagined a 2D slapstick comedy bound for Not Another Teen Movie fame, but as I told my friend as we exited the theater, it was about as deep as a kiddy pool and that was deep enough.

    I was charmed by it, and by-golly those pirate bananas were funny
  • The next time I run out of eyes to put on stuffed banana toys, I will remember that more eyes are not necessarily the answer. A patch will turn a silly stuffed toy into a funny stuffed banana pirate. A lesson to remember in the corporate world.

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