Young Adult, the second Jason Reitman/Diablo Cody collaboration, is an insanely underrated treasure. It may appear to have a lot in common with Reitman/Cody’s previous film Juno, but once you take a closer look, you can see just how dark and tragic it really is.
Mavis Gary is an injured person. She’s completely oblivious and narcissistic as hell, but also injured. She’s crying out for help, but no one, including her own parents, is listening. It’s the classic story of you can’t judge a book by its cover. Yeah, she’s beautiful, but she has enough inner demons to make one lucky therapist very, very rich. Mavis can’t fully comprehend and deal with growing up, which is something that all of us must face. When does one truly become an adult? What if you always have those same insecurities you had when you were a teenager? Does that make you less of an adult? In the end, Mavis leaves her past behind and sets off to live the rest of her life, but will she really live it? Or is she destined to keep repeating the same destructive cycle over and over again?
There are not enough words in the English language to illustrate how much I am in love with Charlize Theron’s performance as Mavis. She plays her alcoholic tendencies with finesse and subtlety. She’s larger than life even when she’s not screaming and being over the top. Her gestures and mannerisms are incredible, and she can cut a bitch just by looking at them. It’s pretty unforgivable that her flawless work didn’t even receive an Oscar nomination.