Youth In Revolt

[3.5
stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Here's my brilliant movie idea that I thought up in the car on the way to work: Breakfast Club: The Next Generation. It would reunite surviving members of the cast of The Breakfast Club: Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald. They'd be parents now, and subject to the parents' curse: they've got kids that behave just like they did. Aieee! Suddenly, they kind of understand why Principal Vernon was such a martinet!

Or how about Ferris Bueller, Junior?

All that was brought to mind by watching Youth in Revolt, a movie that is aimed at the kiddos. The hero youngsters are mostly hip and clever. The older generation are all, in various degrees, losers and idiots; they don't have much effective restraint over the antics of the kids. I.e., the film is pretty much following the blueprint laid down by the late John Hughes in the 80's.

The protagonist is young Nick Twisp (played by Michael Cera), a sensitive soul who likes listening to Sinatra on vinyl. Unfortunately, he's living the downside of that cliché too: sensitive souls strike out with the ladies. So he invents an edgy alter ego: Francois Dillinger. Francois urges him to be a dangerous bad boy in order to round the bases with the lovely Sheeni, the prettiest and smartest girl in any Ukiah, California trailer park. Before you know it, Nick is enmeshed in various forms of irresponsible and criminal activity. (It is one of only ten movies at IMDB with the keywords "exploding trailer", so if that's your thing, you won't want to miss it.)

It's funny and clever, although it follows the youth-movie formula pretty closely. (And I can at least get into the kid mindset for as long as it takes to enjoy a movie; once it's over I snap back to my boring stodgy parent role, as my kids will be more than happy to tell you.) There's even a half-hearted "be yourself" moral behind it all.

There are some amusing claymation sequences. And it has a very good supporting cast: Jean Smart, Zach Galifianakis, Adhir Kalyan (the great "Timmy" from Rules of Engagement), Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Ray Liotta, Mary Kay Place, and M. Emmet Walsh.

My quibble: quite a few interesting supporting characters get introduced, do their bits, then vanish.


Last Modified 2012-10-03 11:44 AM EDT