Youth in Revolt

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(2009) ★½

BBC2: Sunday 27 September, 11.10pm

Everybody’s getting action except shrinking violet Michael Cera, even his dad Steve Buscemi. Jeez Louise, even the birds and the bees. Cera was fed up before spending time at a trailer park with his mom and her new boyfriend. But it’s here that he meets Portia Doubleday… A bland collection of indie quirks (complete with sardonic narration and prissy plot-sensitive music) that risks terminal tweeness after the lisping Cera adopts an alter ego – François Dillinger, arsonist.

Considering his character’s name is Nick Twisp, this is perhaps understandable. But you suspect that only American college students would find any of this cute or clever. Nick Twisp, the hero of a popular American book, comes from the Nick Hornby school of characterisation: because he likes Frank Sinatra and Fellini, Nick is a worthwhile person, superior in some way to the suburban dullards around him. Even if this were true, it doesn’t make his hackneyed story worthwhile.

It’s more like a collection of skits: Ferris Bueller joins Fight Club! (Except, of course, if Nick Twisp were Ferris Bueller, he’d have no need of Fight Club.) Decorated with adolescent animated inserts, the surprisingly conservative Youth in Revolt is no match for Jesse Eisenberg’s Adventureland, and even comes up short compared to Rick Gervais’ coming-of-age Britcom, Cemetery Junction.

Certificate: 15

Duration: 86min

IMDB – Youth in Revolt

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Other Showings Time & Date
BBC2 Scotland Sunday, 27 September at 11:40PM