Review: Youth in Revolt DVD

STUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Miguel Arteta | CAST: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Steve Buscemi, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long
RELEASE DATE: 6/15/2010 | PRICE: DVD $26.98, Blu-ray $29.98
BONUSES: commentary, deleted and extended scenes, trailers
SPECS: R | 117 min. | Comedy | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

After finding its way to theaters earlier in 2010 after spending well over a year on the shelf, this adaptation of C.D. Payne’s 1993 coming-of-age book by Miguel Arteta (Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl) is appropriately off-kilter and filled with quirky, oddball moments.

In Youth in Revolt, Michael Cera plays Nick Twisp, a confounded teen hoping to snag the girl of his dreams (Portia Doubleday) he meets in a trailer park while away from home. In order to steer her away from her hunky boyfriend, he adapts an alter-ego who looks like a refugee from a French gangster movie and whose bad behavior gets Nick into trouble with both his and her dysfunctional families.

As expected, Cera plays Cera, not far from the nerdy, virginal characters he played in Juno, Superbad and Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, while newcomer Doubleday brings a fresh face but not much charisma to the film’s romantic lead.

The movie’s supporting cast — which includes Ray Liotta (Something Wild), Jean Smart (Barry Munday), Mary Kay Place (It’s Complicated), M. Emmet Walsh (Christmas With the Kranks), Steve Buscemi (Handsome Harry), Zach Galifianakis (Due Date), Justin Long (Going the Distance) and Fred Willard (For Your Consideration) — is absolutely aces.

And Arteta’s flights of fancy, including a trippy animated sequence and some decidedly un-PC moments, are just what the cynical teen characters of this tale — and the audience — ordered.

The DVD also comes with a commentary and deleted scenes.


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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.