News / Arts & Entertainment

    Author Struggles to Find Happy Ending in 'Young Adult'

    Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary in YOUNG ADULT, from Paramount Pictures and Mandate Pictures.
    Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary in YOUNG ADULT, from Paramount Pictures and Mandate Pictures.

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Alan Silverman

    Writer Diablo Cody and Director Jason Reitman, who made the 2007 hit "Juno," reunite for a new comedy that tests the old saying "you can't go home again." Here's a look at Young Adult.



    MATT "What are you doing back in Mercury. Are you moving back?"
    MAVIS "Of course not. Gross!"


    Mavis moved away from her small Minnesota town years ago, right after graduating from high school. She found fame and fortune in the big city, Minneapolis, as a successful author of popular novels for young adults. But her real life is nothing like those romantic fantasies and so she's gone home to win back her high school sweetheart.



    MAVIS "Here's the deal. Buddy Slade and I are meant to be, to get him back."
    MATT "I'm pretty sure he's married with a kid on the way."
    MAVIS "No, the kid is here. I'm cool with it. I mean I've got baggage too."
    MATT "I would keep all of this to yourself. I would find a therapist."


    Despite warnings from Matt, the former classmate she runs into at a local bar, Mavis plows ahead with her twisted plan. But she discovers it's not nearly as easy to achieve a happy ending in real life as it is to write one in her novels. Screenwriter Diablo Cody says the chasm between fantasy and reality inspired the story.

    Left to right: Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary and Patton Oswalt plays Matt Freehauf in YOUNG ADULT, from Paramount Pictures and Mandate Pictures.
    Left to right: Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary and Patton Oswalt plays Matt Freehauf in YOUNG ADULT, from Paramount Pictures and Mandate Pictures.

    "I have been an avid consumer of young adult literature since I was one, and I was always interested in the fantasy world created in those novels," Cody says. "The idea of somebody whose priorities were completely screwed up who wanted to live in that world, even though it's completely unattainable, was intriguing to me."

    MAVIS "You can come to the city with me like we always planned."
    BUDDY "Mavis, I'm a married man."
    MAVIS "I know. We can beat this thing together."


    Charlize Theron is lewd, crude and thoughtless as Mavis, and she says those unsavory aspects made the character appealing to her.

    Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary in YOUNG ADULT, from Paramount Pictures and Mandate Pictures.
    Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary in YOUNG ADULT, from Paramount Pictures and Mandate Pictures.

    "What I liked when I read Diablo's script was the idea of a woman who is dealing with very common issues that women can really relate to," explains Theron, "but is dealing with them the way a 16-year-old would deal with them. Here she is 37 trying to get her life together, and she just doesn't have the tools to do it."

    Like the hit comedies Bridesmaids and Bad Teacher, Young Adult seems to fit a new genre of 'women behaving badly.' However, Theron believes it's actually women getting the chance to play the same kind of roles as men.

    Left to right: Patrick Wilson plays Buddy Slade and Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary in YOUNG ADULT, from Paramount Pictures and Mandate Pictures.
    Left to right: Patrick Wilson plays Buddy Slade and Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary in YOUNG ADULT, from Paramount Pictures and Mandate Pictures.

    "People get freaked out when they see real women conflicted," she notes. "I think women are almost way more conflicted than men, and I grew up on cinema where guys got to do that. Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman and [Robert] DeNiro got to play all of those kind of characters that I saw a little bit of myself in - those kind of struggles with dark things. It's very rare to see women [like that], but I think we are getting a chance to play those kind of honest characters."

    Mavis's journey does not fit the usual pattern in a movie about someone who needs to learn a lesson. But whether that's all right is something director Jason Reitman believes the audience can decide.

    "If I have a message, and hopefully there's a continuity of that in all of my films, it's 'think for yourself and come up with your own opinions.' I certainly don't want to tell you what to think and hopefully people draw their own conclusions," he says.

    Young Adult features Patrick Wilson as the former high school sweetheart. And  Patton Oswalt is the barroom buddy who tries to be the voice of reason.


    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs