True Adolescents (2009)

Unrated   |    |  Comedy, Drama

True Adolescents (2009) Poster

Craig Johnson's poised and poignant first feature follows Sam (Mark Duplass), an, unbeknownst to him, washed-up rocker in the early stages of haggard. Jobless and apartment-less, he crashes... See full summary »

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16 July 2012 | MartinHafer
| An interesting though flawed character study.
Mark Duplass stars as Sam--a loser who, in his mid-30s, has no home and no job....but he is in a band! When he moves in with his aunt and her family, he mostly sits around doing nothing--that is, until he gets drafted into taking his 14 year-old cousin and his friend on a camping trip. Now considering all three have exactly the same maturity level, you know things can't go well with good 'ol Sam in charge! And, not surprisingly, that's exactly what happens. Can Sam somehow, for once, short some maturity and get them back safely? Or, will they be eaten by bears and squirrels and hippies in the Pacific Northwest?

This is an unusual film in many ways. It is NOT formulaic but at the same time I am sure a lot of folks WON'T like it very much because it does not have a happy ending. I respect it, however, because it avoided formula and because the filmmakers did a good job of actually capturing the essence of 14 year-olds. Instead of the Hollywood way where you get a 20-something to play a 14 year-old, these really WERE kids that age. And, they talked like kids that age--not like Hollywood versions of kids! I only recently retired from teaching and know how 14 year-olds talk--and they DO talk like the boys in "True Adolescents". Worth seeing even if the film seems very incomplete by its conclusion.

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