Youth in Revolt

2010 | 90 min. minutes | Rated R

The hero of C.D. Payne's classic young-adult novel Youth in Revolt--and the new Michael Cera-starring film of the same name--is Nick Twisp, a bright but bitter young teenager ("even John Wayne on a horse would look effeminate pronouncing that name," Payne writes). His parents are separated, hostile, and generally unfit; his best friend Lefty (Erik Knudsen) is so named because his "erect member takes a sudden and dramatic turn to the east about midway up the shaft"; and Nick himself is entirely and unremittingly obsessed with sex, despite meager prospects of ever actually having any. When Nick meets the beautiful and brilliant Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday), he creates an alter ego, Francois Dillinger, who coaxes Nick into living dangerously--stealing cars and making moves on the irresistible Sheeni. But a lot happens in Payne's plotty, 499-page novel, and screenwriter Gustin Nash is undone by his efforts to cover as much ground as the book: There's car theft, cross dressing, a road trip to a girls' school, and more. The result is more muddled than madcap.

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Film Credits
Director
Miguel Arteta
Cast
Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Zach Galifianakisi, Erik Knudsen, Adhir Kalyan, Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Ari Graynor, Ray Liotta