Greg Mottola's Adventureland was clearly marketed as a comedy. Frankly, there wasn't much I found to be all that funny. I mean there were humorous moments but nothing that made me break out in hysteria. Once you get past the fact that Adventureland is a slight departure from what'd you'd expect from the commercials that were so eager to remind us that Mottola also directed Superbad, you find yourself with a dramatic summer love story that brings about such a strong sense of nostalgia. The movie moves at such a pleasant leisurely pace that it is possible to take note of all the things in the background of the theme park sets that place this film square in the eighties (even though up until the point you hear a song or see the characters in a dance club- this film could've taken place yesterday). The film has such a strong and yet welcoming sense of nostalgia that you rarely see outside of television's Mad Men so consider this a more modern American Graffiti or Dazed and Confused in the way that it chronicles in-detail these relationships that have taken place in an older era of love while being balanced with this sense of sharps wit. The cast of characters include James (Jesse Eisenberg) who is perhaps too chivalrous for his own good, and his love interest Em (Kristen Stewart) who has several dark secrets that mostly relate to her sexual relationships with older men such as a guy who claims to have been a part of many notable bands (played by Ryan Reynolds). Em is by the far the most interesting in the love triangle as her home life is one that could be on par with the families from Ordinary People or Terms of Endearment. Combining that sense of tracking time as it passes with such a strong moving story leads to Adventureland being one of the most endearing low budget films that features elements that can please both drama thespians and nostalgia-nuts.
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