Youth In Revolt Miguel Arteta

Youth In Revolt Miguel Arteta
Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) is the bookish, well-mannered, socially awkward son of recently divorced white trash parents Estelle (Jean Smart) and George (Steve Buscemi). Taking note of the hypocrisy evident in the good things going to those who take, rather than those who wait, he constructs an alter-ego, or id, rather, named Francois Dillinger, who manipulates and destroys anything that stands in the way of getting what he wants. Spurning this decision, as is the case in most coming-of-age parables, are the unrequited affections of the comely, pretentious Sheeni (Portia Doubleday), the girl he meets while visiting his father in the summer. Like all of Miguel Arteta's films, Youth in Revolt pivots on the changing of a meek, rule-abiding punching bag into someone that acts on their desires, regardless of social propriety and repercussions. But where Jennifer Aniston's Good Girl merely rejected the role of subservient wife, indulging in infidelity and ignoring the needs of her friends, Nick Twisp actively uses people and destroys public property, blowing up vehicles and drugging people. It's a decidedly more male mode of rebellion under the guise of a teen comedy. And while it inevitably collapses under the weight of its own construct, leaving it difficult for our protagonist to step back into the world he sought to tear down, the journey is quite a bit of fun. Notably, Twisp's quick-witted tendency to patronize via indirect insult gives the film a sly humour not typically seen in the ungraceful teen canon. It's difficult to imagine a young actor other than Michael Cera successfully delivering dialogue such as, "he has a knack for smashing together ungraceful words and deeming it a poem," with that perfect balance of charm and subtle condescension. Even the handling of the dual identities avoids the typical confusion or cumbersome framing and exposition by giving the audience credit for understanding character through external reactions. While Twisp's actual motivations and actions are somewhat misguided and shady, the construction of youth impulse reflection is clever and frequently amusing. The DVD is light on features, having a standard commentary track with Cera and Arteta, along with some deleted and extended scenes. (Alliance)