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DVD Review: Youth in Revolt

June 15, 2010

Youth in Revolt – An Alliance Films Release

DVD Release Date: June 15th, 2010

Rated 14A for sexual content, coarse language, and substance abuse.

Running time: 90 minutes


Miguel Arteta (dir.)


Gustin Nash (screenplay)

C.D. Payne (novel “Youth in Revolt: the Adventures of Nick Twisp”)


John Swihart (music)


Michael Cera as Nick Twisp and François Dillinger

Portia Doubleday as Sheeni Saunders

Jean Smart as Estelle Twisp

Zach Galifinakis as Jerry

Steve Buscemi as George Twisp

Fred Willard as Mr. Ferguson

Ray Liotta as Lance Wescott

Justin Long as Paul Saunders


Our reviews below:


Youth in Revolt DVD Review By John C.

** (out of 4)

Youth in Revolt is a sometimes enjoyable teen comedy, filled with bad behaviour and good actors.  When Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) is vacationing at a trailer park with his mother and her boyfriend, he meets the girl of his dreams, Sheeni (Portia Doubleday), at the neighbouring trailer.  For Nick, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel of lost-virginity.  When he is returned to his old house, he develops a secondary persona, Francois Dillenger, to help him get kicked out, so he can go back to the trailer park.


Some of this is funnier than others, as the problem is that there is a certain nastiness to a lot of the sequences that keep them from being hilarious.  What’s lacking is the genuine heart that Judd Apatow, or the late-great John Hughes would have brought to the proceedings.


Michael Cera’s Nick Twisp has been compared to Ferris Bueller, even though he’s almost an opposite of that wiser-than-his-years teen icon.  This is a movie centred largely around unlikable characters, including bratty teenagers who constantly break the law in order to be together.  Like I said, it’s only sometimes worth laughing at.  But Michael Cera does pull off a good performance as both characters, often putting his voice to amusing use.


A slightly higher rating would have been in order had a more morally grounded story, or at least a little heart been portrayed.  There are just enough laughs, and there are a few big laughs, to make it mildly worth seeing on DVD, but nowhere near enough to make this missed opportunity rank with the classics.


The DVD includes audio commentary with director Miguel Arteta & Michael Cera, as well as deleted scenes and rehearsal footage.


Youth in Revolt DVD Review By Erin V.

**3/4 (out of 4)

In teen comedy Youth in Revolt, Michael Cera is yet again typecast as the ‘kind of awkward’ teenager.  This time, it’s with a twist.  He gets to play a badder version of this character as well, as Nick Twisp and his bad, alter ego, François Dillinger.  Why does Nick need this kind of alter ego though?  To win the girl of his dreams, who’s kind of a rebel herself…


This one is worth renting if you like Michael Cera’s work, or this kind of comedy.  Surprisingly, there aren’t really overly gross-out scenes, and the sexual content is kept at a minimum.  Those are two of the reasons I quite liked this film over others.  Also, it is funny.  Sure, it’s got really no real moral storyline, more just meandering in it’s own little world, but if you take it for what it is, you’ll enjoy it.  Just so long as the behavior within is recognized as the kind of action that should never really be engaged in.


Youth in Revolt could have gone either way, but it pleasantly surprised me as being on the good side.  I was hoping not to have to sit through another ‘Gentleman Broncos’ – one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen – and I’m glad I didn’t have to.


Youth in Revolt DVD Review By Nicole

**3/4 (out of 4)

Youth in Revolt is a fast-paced, dark comedy drama about a lonely boy’s misadventures in the name of love.  Nick Twisp (Michael Cera), is an intelligent but geeky boy whose life is divided between his divorced parents.  While spending the summer at a trailer park, Nick meets Sheeni, a beautiful girl whom Nick thinks is perfect.  Sheeni, however, is somewhat of a rebel, so Nick feels if he acted out, she would go out with him.  So Nick creates an imaginary alter ego named François, an equivalent to the devil in cartoons.  When Nick/François engages in an act of delinquency, mainly to get away from his problems at home, the situation accidentally gets out of hand, creating a new set of problems., and a whole chain of events.  Eventually, when Nick faces the inevitable consequences, he realizes he should have been himself all along.


Despite Nick’s obnoxious behavior, Youth in Revolt is never an obnoxious movie.  What works is the perfect casting, strong acting, great delivery of lines, and clever writing.  The unconventional way of showing François as a separate person is oddly believable, as only Nick can see him.


Despite rude sexual dialogue, no actual sexual situations or nudity is seen, except for a raunchy cartoon “koma sutra mushroom trip” experienced by Nick.  The use of animation sequences, such as the stop motion car trip sequence, actually fits the film.  But despite the light feel of the movie, Youth in Revolt has a darker undertone, as Nick truly is a troubled and vulnerable individual.  Mom’s choice of boyfriends probably has more to do with Nick’s behavioral and emotional problems than the influence of Sheeni.


For those who are interested in film, or fans of any of the actors involved, should check out Youth in Revolt.


Youth in Revolt DVD Review By Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

Youth in Revolt is a dark comedy about boy meets girl, boy will do anything including create an alter ego who does dumb and dangerous things to impress the girl.


Michael Cera plays awkward and shy teenager Nick who thanks to his irresponsible stepfather (Zach Galifinakis) has to suddenly move to a trailer park.  Things are looking down for Nick until he meets his trailer park neighbour, Sheeni (Portia Doubleday) and develops a major crush on her.  The trouble is, Sheeni isn’t as innocent as she looks and if Nick is going to hold her attention he needs to get in touch with his inner bad boy, alter ego François.


The situations that unfold between Nick/François and Sheeni are darkly funny.


It all works thanks to a strong comedic cast including Steve Buscemi as Nick’s father, Ray Liotta as his Mom’s new cop boyfriend and Justin Long as Sheeni’s brother.  There is a particularly funny segment involving Sheeni’s straight and narrow parents and some magic mushrooms at a family gathering.


In the end Nick has to come to terms with the fact that not even François can save him from the consequences of his choices.  While it won’t appeal to everyone, Youth in Revolt has enough quirky comedy to satisfy fans of any of these talented actors and is at least worth a rental.


Youth in Revolt DVD Review By Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

Youth In Revolt is a Michael Cera coming-of-age film with a twist.  As Nick Twisp he is the awkward yet articulate character we would expect, but in order to conquer the girl of his dreams Sheeni (Portia Doubleday), he enlists the help of alter ego François Dillinger (chain smoking Cera with a faint moustache) who encourages him to do dumb and destructive stunts.  With a witty script and excellent supporting cast including Jean Smart, Zach Galifianakis, Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Ray Liotta, Justin Long, M. Emmet Walsh, and Mary Kay Place there a lot of laughs with sexuality more suggestive than blatant.  My only reservation is that the premise of the film lacks any moral compass, so don’t try any of it at home.


Consensus: Youth in Revolt is a funny enough teen-comedy.  Fans of Michael Cera will enjoy seeing him in his familiar kind of role, although this time with a slightly badder side as well.  This one is worth a rental. **1/2 (Out of 4)

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