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Adventureland

Released: 2009

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Runtime: 1 hr 46 min

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Greg Mottola

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Martin Starr, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Reynolds

Greg Mottola’s nostalgia piece about a recent college grad who takes a job at the local amusement park. With Kristen Stewart (Twilight).

"Adventureland" is a Fun Ride.

Review by: MiamiMovieCritic

Added: 7 years ago

Before it disappeared from theaters after two or three weeks, I was lucky enough to catch this with a friend and we both thought it was one of the best things we'd seen in a long, long time.

It's set in the summer of '87. Recent college grad James (Jesse Eisenberg) has just lost his European vacation money. Left with few options (he majored in Renaissance Studies), he takes a job at the local amusement park, where he falls hard for a girl, Em (Kristen Stewart). My favorite character at the park is Joel (Martin Starr). He smokes a pipe and has adopted the fatalistic worldview of 19th-century Russian writers like Tolstoy. I've known people like this. I've known summers like this, too. More than anything else I've seen, Adventureland captures the dichotomy created by going to a crappy job every day to work with people you like.

The scenes between Eisenberg and Stewart (so much more vivid here than she was in Twilight) feel achingly real, while Starr and Ryan Reynolds (as the park's resident Lothario) both turn in career-best performances. The soundtrack is filled with college radio faves by The Replacements, Big Star and The Cure.

This movie is sad, funny and weirdly familiar - each scene reminds you of something you've either felt, thought about or, if you're lucky enough, experienced.