Awkward Strikes Again:Update!

This Just In: From this week’s Onion AV Club: “In a challenging dual role, Michael Cera toys with his adorably awkward man-child persona as a hormone-crazed teenager who uses his mastery of language to compensate for his fundamental powerlessness.”

The correct (sorry, language descriptivists), I mean *classic* use of the word “awkward” pleases me, as does the idea that awkward people can overcome the power imbalance they typically endure by hitting  the squares with some snazzy vocab.  Maybe Youth In Revolt is worth watching?  Even if this movie uses the portrayal of those who demonstrate awkward characteristics in the classic sense as cultural grist in the perpetuation of Awkward as it’s now known?  By this I simply mean: are we in for a Son of Revenge of the Nerds?

Post Script: 01-17-10

My questions answered: Not so much, hardly, and thankfully, no.  Youth In Revolt isn’t some paean to Awkward and its champions.  It’s your typical Teen Fuck Quest Flick and not much more.  The innovative elements that should have allowed Youth In Revolt to engender an evolutionary step forward for the TFQF genre (as established by the Porky’s Precedent of 1982*) are just bells and whistles designed to distract the viewer from the reality that they are, in fact, really watching a Teen Fuck Quest Flick.   The surrealistic digs at the Christian right, the claymation segues, and Nick Twisp’s evil alter ego Francois were the best parts of the movie, but they seemed like an intrusion upon the TFQF agenda as opposed to an enhancement.  I wasn’t at all distracted from the fact that I was watching a Teen Fuck Quest Flick as much as I was wishing I was watching a better one.  Too bad, because that Francois was a bad ass.

And while I’m on the subject on celluloid teen fantasy, I’m positive that 100 viewings of Youth In Revolt would be preferable to 10 minutes of  The Lovely Bones.   From the looks of the trailer (augmented by my reading of the book), it seems that The Lovely Bones makes its foundation the 11-16 year old girl’s Ultimate Rebellion: untimely death.  The Lovely Bones sends dead girls to a dazzling Technicolor after world where they can enjoy the view from above as everyone left behind mourns them to the point of danger and dysfunction.  It posits a world overturned and overwrought by the loss of its vital focal point, (which is, of course, the teenaged girl) and appeals to the You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone mindset of girls too well-behaved to come of age. 

The Youth In Revolt/The Lovely Bones dichotomy can be parsed in a number of ways (comedy vs. drama, male vs. female, satire vs. “high art”), but the winner of this crappy movie coin toss is the teen rebellion with a pulse. 

*The Porky’s Precedent of 1982 mandates that all TFQF’s depict the desire to lose one’s virginity as the catalyst to Ultimate Rebellion.  As such, the TFQF  must involve outraged parents, mild drug usage, and flummoxed law enforcement in a chaotic symphony heralding the golden dawn of adulthood.  Youth In Revolt is indeed faithful to the PP82.

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5 Responses to “Awkward Strikes Again:Update!”

  1. g Says:

    It depicts travel in claymation. I think that’s a good sign.

  2. Ronald Dodge Says:

    …I said Michael Cera, you’re the poet in my heart, never change and don’t you ever stop…

  3. Alison Says:

    Thank you for your comments about “Bones” – I read the book and now want to gag when I see trailers for the movie.

    @ Ronald Dodge, ha good one!

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