I knew the leading actor from The Social Network was in it, I knew about the setting, and I knew the critics give it a good rating, I was looking forward to whatever it had to offer, directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad, Paul). Basically set in 1987, at the beginning of summer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, young adult James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) has graduated from Oberlin College with a comparative literature degree, but he inexperienced in many ways, including being a virgin. He has plans to spend the summer touring Europe with his best friend Eric (Michael Zegen),before heading to New York City to attend a journalism graduate school at Columbia University, but his parents, Mr. Brennan (Jack Gilpin) and Mrs. Brennan (Wendie Malick),announce they can no longer financially support him. James has no real skills, but he is forced to take the only job he can get, at a third rate amusement park called Adventureland, assistant manager Bobby (Bill Hader) assigns him to be one of many games operators, most of the games themselves are fixed. James's co- workers include the sarcastic Joel (Martin Starr); park manager and Bobby's wife Paulette (Kristen Wiig); the alluring Lisa P. (Margarita Levieva); and the park's maintenance man/technician and part-time musician Mike Connell (Ryan Reynolds). James believes he has died and gone to hell, until an incident with a cheating, threatening customer brings along Emily "Em" Lewin (Twilight's Kristen Stewart),another games worker, who saves him, he is instantly attracted to her, and with no real experience with women, Mike takes him under his wing to give him advice. James and Em becomes good friends, slowly they embark on a relationship, and have their first kiss, but she wants to take things slowly, James is upset, and when Lisa P. asks him on a date, he eventually accepts, during it they kiss. After the date, James learns Em had called apologising for rejecting him, Joel is irritated about James being with Lisa P., James unsuccessfully tries to convince him to stop quitting, James is honest with Em about going out with Lisa P., hearing this she ends her affair with Connell. James goes to Connell's mother's house, where he apparently takes girls for sex, he is upset to see Em walk out, James spreads the word around, Em quits in anger and moves to New York, James is heartbroken, gets drunk and drives his father's car into a tree, the following morning his mother tells him he must pay for the damage with his summer earnings. James no longer has enough to attend graduate school like he wanted, but with his parents' blessing he heads to New York anyway, meeting Em at her apartment she is reluctant to talk to him, but she is touched by what he tells her, he reveals he will wait for next year to go to Columbia, and they embrace, removing their clothes, implying they will have sex. Also starring Josh Pais as Mr. Lewin, Mary Birdsong as Francy and Paige Howard as Sue O'Malley. Eisenberg is great as the vulnerable, nerdy every man, and Stewart is good as his smart but melancholy love interest, this is not the typical teen movie, most are filled with gross-out jokes and outrageous behaviour, but this one is a more heartfelt, focusing simply on the relationships between characters, and leaving room for 1980s nostalgia, a simple but most effective coming-of-age comedy drama. Very good!
Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance
Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance
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In 1987, James Brennan's dreams of a summer European tour before studying at an Ivy League school in New York City are ruined after his parents have a severe career setback. As a result, James must get a summer job to cover his upcoming expenses at the decrepit local amusement park, Adventureland, where he falls in love with a witty co-worker, Emily Lewin. In that bizarrely shady workplace, the young carnies have unforgettable and painful learning experiences about life, love and trust while James discovers what he truly values.
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