Sara Vilkomerson’s Guide to This Week’s Movies: We Love the ’80s!

Ah, summer. Remember how endless those school-free months used to be?’s Adventureland, set in the late ’80s, nails that humid,

Ah, summer. Remember how endless those school-free months used to be?’s Adventureland, set in the late ’80s, nails that humid, crickets-chirping, restless feeling, revealed through the eyes of James (The Squid and the Whale’s Jesse Eisenberg), who finds out that his post-graduation Europe trip is off due to lack of funds and his graduate school tuition is in jeopardy unless he makes some summer money. Enter the only place to employ him, Adventureland—a rickety amusement park in his hometown of Pittsburgh filled with inevitably kooky characters. The story itself meanders around a bit, but that takes a back seat to the terrific cast: There’s a pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart—as twitchy and awkward and wonderfully weird as ever—who is James’ amusement park crush; Freaks and Geeks’ Martin Starr as a nerdy Gogol-reading stoner named Joel; Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as Adventureland’s goofy married bosses; and Ryan Reynolds, perfectly cast as the cool and mysterious older maintenance guy who may or may not have jammed once with Lou Reed. Speaking of which, those of us who have a fondness for the music of that bygone era will be thrilled with the soundtrack, which includes Falco, New York Dolls, the Replacements, the Cure, Crowded House, Hüsker Du, David Bowie, Poison, Outfield and Rush. Still, don’t dream it’s over.

svilkomerson@observer.com

  Sara Vilkomerson’s Guide to This Week’s Movies: We Love the ’80s!