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ADVENTURELAND

Directed by Greg Mottola (MAPLE)

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Pitched as a wacky comedy for its theatrical run, Adventureland actually has very few laughs---perfectly fine in a sensitive, well-wrought coming-of-age story, which is what it actually is. This film has all the heart and insight erroneously attributed to Mottolla's first film, Superbad. James (Jesse Eisenberg) is a newly graduated (class of '86) lit student headed for Columbia in New York when a family crisis forces him to get a job at the local amusement park (run with a witty mix of comfort and rage by SNL vets Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader). There he falls in love with Em (Kristen Stewart), whom he doesn't know is sleeping with the married park mechanic (Ryan Reynolds). Eisenberg replaces his Squid and the Whale arrogance with a gawky, endearing self-awareness and Stewart shows why, if Twilight doesn't ruin her, she could become one of our best---there's a depth in her missing from most starlets, a confidence underscored by a touching vulnerability. Wistful and nostalgic, hard-hearted and soft-shoed, Adventureland ranks with All the Real Girls and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist as one of the loveliest movies about young love there is.

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