Review of Youth in Revolt

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Stacie Caplan>Junior>Film>University of Western Ontario

When you think of a rebel, you think of characters like James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause, Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club. All of these actors play characters who are young, tough, and “bad to the bone.”

And then there’s Michael Cera: a twenty-one year old actor who usually plays the outcast or nerd.

However, Cera plays a not-so-innocent character in Youth in Revolt. Directed by Miguel Arteta, Youth in Revolt is based on a novel by C.D. Payne, and is the story of Nick Twisp, an obedient teen who is the son of two idiotic divorcees. After meeting the love of his life Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday) on vacation, Nick is forced to leave his one chance at love (and sex) behind, and go back home. The only way they can be reunited is for Nick to rebel against his family, forcing his alter ego (Francois Dillinger) to give Nick lessons on how to be a badass.

Unlike Nick, Francois dresses well, sports a fancy mustache, has a deeper voice, and has no shame spilling out dirty words. He gets Nick to act out rebelliously against his family and society. Believe it or not, Michael Cera soon becomes a felon who is wanted by police across California.

The relationship between Sheeni and Nick is at first awkward and childlike. While Sheeni and Nick visit the beach, Sheeni asks Nick to apply sunscreen on her exposed areas. While he straddles Sheeni’s almost-naked body, she calls Nick out on getting aroused so easily.

Although the plot is fairly simple, the combination of the script and characters kept the audience laughing throughout the entire film. From Nick’s father’s strange neighbor (Fred Willard) who hides illegal immigrants in his basement to Nick dressing in women’s clothing and wig, the movie is extremely entertaining.

Michael Cera was born in Brampton, Canada and starred in many TV shows and movies as a child. His first acting job was in a Tim Hortons coffee commercial which led to a Pillsbury commercial. However, Cera is most notable for his roles in Arrested Development (2003-2006), Juno (2007), Superbad (2007), and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008).

Although Cera usually plays the dweeb in most of his films, Youth in Revolt presents a slightly darker, mysterious Cera. This new persona is great, but his blond hair, charm, and goofy smile will win over my heart in any role.

College Magazine Staff

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