With a $15 million domestic gross, not too many people saw Youth in Revolt when it was out in theaters. Here’s to hoping that it finds a bigger audience on DVD like Office Space or Zoolander. It’s an odd movie, maybe one that’s better suited to DVD anyway. It’s quirky in the original sense of the word, when it still meant charming and strange, and not obnoxiously twee. It manages to be offbeat in a way that’s intelligent without feeling smug, and honest without being cringe-inducingly earnest, like so many indie films.
Maybe with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World coming out, people can rediscover the “forgotten” Michael Cera movie. You hate that Michael Cera always plays the same character? Well here he plays two, Nick Twisp and his alter-ego, Francois Dillinger. So shut up about him always playing the same character, okay? You know who else always plays the same character? Jack Nicholson. George Clooney. John Wayne. Hipster icon status aside, the kid has comedic timing. And in Youth in Revolt, the writing is sharp, albeit in a subdued way (much better than screenwriter Gustin Nash’s previous effort, Charlie Bartlett). It doesn’t have the kitschy dialog of Juno (which is a plus for a lot of people) and it’s not as much of a romp as Superbad. It’s just a nice collection of small touches, like Cera’s rival Trent, and his “futuristic percussive poetry.”
For me, Trent’s poem is reason enough to watch alone, but there are also cameos from Steve Buscemi, Zach Galifianakis, Fred Willard, and Ray Liotta. Justin Long even shows up for a time, and it’s the least annoying he’s been since he played the doctor in Idiocracy. All in all, it’s a great lazy Sunday afternoon movie.