Youth in Revolt | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Youth in Revolt

Another amusing, if artificial, romp through adolescence

Fed up with troubles at home, a sweet, nerdy teen-ager named Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) sets his sights on losing his virginity in Miguel Arteta's adaptation of C.D. Payne's novel. Nick's target is Sheeni (Portia Doubleday), a wannabe-sophisticate, who is equally stifled at home. (Her parents are strict Christians.) Hoping to appeal to Sheeni's love of Franco bad-boys like Belmondo, Nick develops an alter-ego -- Francois Dillinger, a rakish, chain-smoking rogue whose rash acts derail a number of lives. But hey! -- it works. Once again, Hollywood delivers its signature teen neo-classic, the one where the geeky guy gets the totally hot girl. (The inverse is never proffered.) Cera really needs to move beyond these roles, but he's so darn Pound Puppy cute that it's hard not to hitch your wagon to his dreams. Like Juno, Youth is overloaded with droll, dead-pan one-liners that no teen would ever be sharp enough to quip. But at least that's more fun than a bunch of realistic moody silences.

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