Youth In Revolt (Blu-ray)
Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) is a 16-year-old boy whose mind is on one singular track to lose his virginity. Unfortunately, Nick does not have a reputation with the ladies and is surrounded by people making whoopee, including his white trash mom (Jean Smart) with her sloppy lying boyfriend Jerry (Zack Galifiankis) and Nick’s financially challenged dad (Steve Buscemi) with his 23-year-old girlfriend. Nick comes from normal dysfunction for today’s world but his life begins to look up when he meets his dream girl in Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday). She loves the French and has a vocabulary just as extensive as Nick’s. She’s pretty and seems to like him so she’s perfect. Sadly, Sheeni, although not completely committed, has a boyfriend of her own named Trent. Nick creates an alter ego, who will do all the bad and aggressiveness it takes to keep Sheeni away from Trent and close to Nick. Whether it be spreading lies, getting her kicked out of school or blowing up a vehicle, Nick has no limits in what he will do to lose his virginity to the girl he loves.
Michael Cera has been criticized for playing the same character over and over but I would challenge the fact that he’s in comedies for that very reason. Chris Farley didn’t change things up much but we always found him hilarious. The fact is Cera plays the unsure, nervous well-spoken nerdy teen to perfection. Every line he speaks seems to be unrehearsed and natural. Cera plays that character well again in YOUTH IN REVOLT. However, this time around he has an alter ego, Francois Dillinger, which is pretty much his exact opposite. Cera still provides his quiet voice but with a confidence-filled ego while wearing a thinly grown mustache, with tightly fit dress clothes smoking French cigarettes. As comedy actors go, this is a stretch and Cera pulls it off with a cocky sweetness.
Along with Michael Cera and the previously mentioned actors Fred Willard, Justin Long, Ray Liotta and Adhir Kalyan also provide some funny moments with minimal screen time. The all-star cast really helps round out the comedy but make no mistake this is Cera’s vehicle. He has a charm that makes you overlook his villainous actions.
YOUTH IN REVOLT cleverly gets into the mind of the teenage boy and exploits all his desires and shortcomings. The film uses a variety of animations to portray Nick’s thoughts and actions which isn’t necessary but does convey a certain fun, adolescence to the film to keep things moving and helps set the light-hearted tone.
Video: The picture looks great especially with the animated sequences. Lots of bright colors to give the young summery feel to the film.
Audio: The sound quality was decent but didn’t call for anything to spectacular.
Commentary with Miguel Arteta and Michael Cera: The two joke and laugh about the making of the film. It’s not too technical or even interesting but the two are likeable enough while they amuse themselves to make the commentary mildly amusing to the audience…sometimes.
Deleted Scenes (10:43): Nine deleted scenes that do contain a few funny moments but I’m sure were cut for time issues or making our lead seem too unlikable.
Off-the-Chain Deleted and Extended Animated Sequences (7:11): A few of these show up on the deleted scenes but this is exactly what is says a little extensions of the animated scenes which are mildly amusing.
Audition Footage (8:32): These are short audition videos for the following actors: Portia Doubleday as Sheeni Saunders, Zach Galifianakis as Jerry, Erik Knudsen as Lefty, Jonathan B. Wright as Trent, Adhir Kalyan as Vijay Joshi – all are pretty lame.