Cera Wants a Doubleday
At 16 Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) is a voracious reader of classic prose, which also means he is a nerdish virgin who lives in Oakland with his mother and her boyfriend who live off of his father's child support money. It's a depressing life for Nick until whilst camping in Ukiah he meets the attractive and similarly thinking Sheeni (Portia Doubleday). Now if only Nick can work out a way for his unemployed father to find work in Ukiah and find a way to live with said father so that he can be near Sheeni, that is if her very religious parents don't pack her off to boarding school away from normal teen temptations. It seems an impossible task especially as Sheeni has a boyfriend but then Nick comes up with a plan and an alter ego.
I am sure Michael Cera is a really nice guy but watching him play the same sort of nerdish character in one movie after another gets too much, especially when you struggled with the dweeby virgin thing the first time around. It is part of the reason why I struggled to enjoy "Youth in Revolt" but also because the pretentiousness of Nick was so extreme that it went beyond being fun to the point of being annoying. And that has a knock on problem as whilst Cera can play the loser when it comes to him playing his alter ego it isn't convincing or to be honest funny.
But my struggles with "Youth in Revolt" don't just focus on Michael Cera but also on the sad fact that for a comedy, even on off beat one as this is, I only laughed a handful of times. The laughs are just too weak and far too often rely on Cera's dweeby persona to make you laugh rather than the actual humour itself. It makes it a slow movie when so few of the jokes work.
The thing is that whilst "Youth in Revolt" didn't do it for me it is a nicely put together movie which I am sure will be loved by the fans of Michael Cera. And in fairness "Youth in Revolt" has a surprisingly good supporting cast even if the likes of Zach Galifianakis, Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard and Ray Liotta are all under used.
What this all boils down to is that "Youth in Revolt" was not for me and in between the weak humour and the casting of Michael Cera I found it a slow and not that funny movie. But for those who enjoy quirky and pretentious as well as Michael Cera's specific brand of nerdish virgin might enjoy it more than I did as it has a good cast and is nicely put together.