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Adventureland Review


Adventureland is very beautiful love story for twentysomethings. It is very well written and flawlessly acted. Plus the music is awesome!

My rating 4.5 Stars

I remember my first summer job like it was yesterday. I was 15 and not very confident, so I wasn’t very good when I first started, but eventually I could sell hair products to a bald man. I was good enough to come in second place in a contest within our group. Of course I wasn’t happy that I didn’t win it, but I did make enough money to buy myself a really cool typewriter.

I was a door to door candy salesperson in Los Angeles, CA. There was a group of us that would get picked up from all over the city and we were dropped off at the corners of really nice neighborhoods in LA like: Pasadena, El Monte, even as far as Orange County. We were given a certain time to run through all of the houses in the block and then we were picked up and dropped off at another block.

We all had a speech we were supposed to use when we knocked on doors. We also had a script of retorts for those people who didn’t want to buy any candy. I remember I wrote and memorized my own sales pitch and I memorized all possible retorts. I would sell something about 85-90% of the time. I was pretty good.

That was a fun summer. I still remember my friends and rivals. I never had another summer job after that, but at least I got to experience it at least once. Watching Adventureland reminded me a lot of that time, especially because it was based around the same year. However, instead of kids of 15, they were in their 20’s and instead of selling candy, they worked in an amusement park. It’s all the same really. It’s a summer job. You meet new friends, you have a fun time or a miserable time, either way you’ll never forget the experience and it always makes a great story.

From the makers of Superbad comes a lighthearted love and coming of age story. When James Brennan’s father loses his job, he finds himself having to find a summer job so that he could save some money for the next school year. After applying in many different places, the only job in the area was the local amusement park, Adventureland.

James wanted to run the rides, but instead the manager thought he was best suited for the games department where he had put on a show. On his first day he was trained by coworker. James learns the basics of the games; he was amazed and somewhat appalled that all of the games were rigged. It is almost impossible to get the top prize, the Big Ass Panda. In fact the amusement park frowns upon anyone winning one of the Big Ass Pandas and anyone who loses one of them is pretty much fired. Of course in his very first week, James is scammed by a “contestant”, but James did see him cheating so not wanting to lose his job the first week he argues with the person. Em Lewin played by Kristen Stewart notices the argument and also sees that the man had a knife in his back pocket, she intervenes and gives the man the Big Ass Panda to avoid any trouble. She assures James that everything will be okay, all he has to say is that he was held at knife point and they would understand. James is very impressed with Em for “saving” him and they quickly become friends and soon after they start dating.

The movie isn’t Superbad, it’s not even close. I was expecting something hysterical like its predecessor, and I was a little disappointed, but the story and the acting are quite beautiful. I have really been impressed with Kristen Stewart lately. Her performance in this movie and The Cake Eater were extraordinary. It just might be worth watching The Twighlight saga, which I swore I would never do. Never say never, right?

I really enjoyed this film’s story. I also enjoyed the music, which I thought it set a nice feel of the eighties in my mind. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the same about the look of the film. There was something odd about it that didn’t look 80’s to me, so I wasn’t sold completely. If it hadn’t been for the music, this could have been set recently and no one would’ve been able to tell the difference. However, it wasn’t bad enough for it to ruin the experience and in spite of it, I still enjoyed it very much. And even thought it wasn’t based on a door to door sales job, it still made me think of those earlier times in my life when all I wanted was a cool typewriter.

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