Film Review: Youth in Revolt

The tricky thing with comedy dramas is getting the balance right between the two genres. Err on the side of comedy, and risk creating characters that the audience doesn’t care about. Lay emphasis on the depth of characters and seriousness of narrative, and inevitably the laughs will be sparse. Youth in Revolt has a difficult time in marrying the two genres, thus it does not succeed too prosperously in either of them.

Michael Cera plays the central character Nick Twisp, a geeky but endearing virgin. By now, one thinks Cera would be worried about being typecast in this kind of role. Nonetheless, there is twist to proceedings; Twisp has an alter ego, Francois Dillinger, who eggs him on to do things the young teenage would usually never consider. Unfortunately, this facet does not make the narrative any more engaging.

Although there are a few humorous events in the film, these are not frequent enough to counterbalance the weak storyline. The characters are not absorbing enough, and this viewer at least was nonplussed to Twisp’s plight and the situations he gets into.

Youth in Revolt is not a terrible film. However, it is a disappointing endeavor, considering the promising cast. It lacks the belly laughs of Superbad, as well as the engaging characters that Cera’s earlier film promotes.

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