I caught a screening of Adventureland yesterday, and I can definitely say it was not what I had expected. I saw it with Kyle Goodson, and he hated it. So you can probably guess that I liked the film. It's not that this film was awesome, but it was definitely good...and not terrible as my mentally challenged friend would try to say.
I am going to start with Kristen Stewart (seen below). I have not been too kind to her in the past because of how bad she was in Twilight. Her performance was much improved in this film; she played a cute down to earth amusement park employee. She not only looked good, but added depth to the film by playing a believable and lovable* character.
*Marry me Kristen!
The film is about a 1987 uptight college student named James who is working his summer at a theme park called ADVENTURELAND. He is down on the fact, because he wanted to spend his summer with his friend traveling Europe. Starting his new job working with the carnival games, James begins to meet all the interesting characters that work at the theme park. James' summer gets substantially better as he meets fellow "games" employee Em (Stewart).
Their friendship begins to grow as these two begin to hang out apart from their job. Like every boy meets girl story, there is conflict that creates a divide. The nice thing about this story, is the conflict comes from multiple sources. This gives the film a different look, and keeps the audience guessing on what will happen next.
The film was written and directed by Greg Mottola, who also directed Superbad. Greg Mottola's direction is basic in most of the film, even bad at times. Minus a well shot fireworks scene, nothing else stood out.
In my opinion the script was lacking in some departments too. Adventureland was pinned as a comedy, but really was much more of summer love story. I liked the story, working at this theme park is definitely an interesting experience. But some of the dialogue was stupid and not funny, and really lacked depth. The script had some development of its characters, but the main characters were done the best.
Scene transitions were well executed by the editor Anne McCabe; it helped the film move along swiftly. Sadly, I don't think she edited enough out of Adventureland. There are scenes that do not contribute a whole lot, and I would have liked the film better with 10 minutes less of it.
The acting in the film for the most part was very good. Every actor fit their character exceptionally well, and definitely worked well together as a cast. Very nice chemistry between love interests James and Em.
Soundtrack fit the mood during the film and the era well throughout. The repeat of "Amadeus, Amadeus, Amadeus" is comical.
Overall I would recommend people go out and see this movie. I enjoyed the entire film, and was interested to see the plot unfurl. Many parts of the film could have been done better, but that doesn't stop viewers from getting a good overall experience from the flick. If you are not into Fast & Furious type action, this one would definitely better suit you. Good date movie. You could wait for DVD, but most will appreciate what Adventureland has to offer.