If you’re one of the people who saw Twilight this weekend (and since the film grossed over $70 million dollars at the box office, chances are you did), then you’ve probably already seen the new trailer for Adventureland, Greg Mottola’s follow-up to Superbad. A nostalgic time capsule about a recent college graduate working at a Long Island theme park in the summer of 1987, we’ve had our eyes on this project since it was announced last year. But despite a script that our hyperbolic friends over at The Playlist say could make the film the "Rushmore of 2009", Adventureland looks like a very ignorable teen flick.
Hopefully it’s just a case of never judging a movie by it’s trailer, but we just get the feeling that Mr. Mottola’s latest is a slightly higher glossed version of Waiting, the 2005 Ryan Reynolds dud about twentysomethings working at a faux-Applebee’s. The similarities aren’t helped by the actual appearance of Mr. Reynolds, filling what appears to be the same role he did in that previous film. (The man is funny, charming and good looking; can’t he find more diverse roles?) Mr. Reynolds aside, the rest of the supporting cast is filled with character comedians, whom we like, doing their worn-out shtick: Bill Hader, Kristin Wiig and Martin Starr, playing yet another variation on his Bill Haverchuck character from Freaks and Geeks. In a word: boring.
Suffice to say then, a lot of the success for Adventureland will fall on the two young leads, and even they appear to be a mixed bag. Jesse Eisenberg, who was so good in The Squid and the Whale, here, seems like nothing more than a Bar Mitzvah’d Michael Cera. However his co-star, Twilight‘s Kristen Stewart, looks like she’ll continue what has become an assault on Hollywood. We’ve always thought Ms. Stewart was extremely talented, going all the way back to her androgynous turn in Panic Room. Now that she’s become a young adult, she impresses us by being one of the few young actresses who actually performs to her age (what a novel concept!) Ms. Stewart seems poised to be the next Natalie Portman; a thinking boy’s dream girl.
Since Mr. Mottola has a lifetime pass thanks to Superbad (and the under-remembered The Daytrippers), we’ll definitely give Adventureland a chance. It doesn’t come out until next year, so he has plenty of time to cut together a new trailer. One suggestion to make it better? Dump The Violent Femmes music cue. It screams, "do not see this movie!" Adventureland hits theaters on March 27th.