Author Struggles to Find Happy Ending in 'Young Adult'
Mavis moved away from her small Minnesota town years ago, right after graduating from high school. She found fame and fortune in the big city, Minneapolis, as a successful author of popular novels for young adults. But her real life is nothing like those romantic fantasies and so she's gone home to win back her high school sweetheart.
Despite warnings from Matt, the former classmate she runs into at a local bar, Mavis plows ahead with her twisted plan. But she discovers it's not nearly as easy to achieve a happy ending in real life as it is to write one in her novels. Screenwriter Diablo Cody says the chasm between fantasy and reality inspired the story.
"I have been an avid consumer of young adult literature since I was one, and I was always interested in the fantasy world created in those novels," Cody says. "The idea of somebody whose priorities were completely screwed up who wanted to live in that world, even though it's completely unattainable, was intriguing to me."
Charlize Theron is lewd, crude and thoughtless as Mavis, and she says those unsavory aspects made the character appealing to her.
"What I liked when I read Diablo's script was the idea of a woman who is dealing with very common issues that women can really relate to," explains Theron, "but is dealing with them the way a 16-year-old would deal with them. Here she is 37 trying to get her life together, and she just doesn't have the tools to do it."
Like the hit comedies Bridesmaids and Bad Teacher, Young Adult seems to fit a new genre of 'women behaving badly.' However, Theron believes it's actually women getting the chance to play the same kind of roles as men.
"People get freaked out when they see real women conflicted," she notes. "I think women are almost way more conflicted than men, and I grew up on cinema where guys got to do that. Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman and [Robert] DeNiro got to play all of those kind of characters that I saw a little bit of myself in - those kind of struggles with dark things. It's very rare to see women [like that], but I think we are getting a chance to play those kind of honest characters."
Mavis's journey does not fit the usual pattern in a movie about someone who needs to learn a lesson. But whether that's all right is something director Jason Reitman believes the audience can decide.
"If I have a message, and hopefully there's a continuity of that in all of my films, it's 'think for yourself and come up with your own opinions.' I certainly don't want to tell you what to think and hopefully people draw their own conclusions," he says.
Young Adult features Patrick Wilson as the former high school sweetheart. And Patton Oswalt is the barroom buddy who tries to be the voice of reason.
Charlize Theron 把Mavis的低俗，粗鲁，粗心都演出来了。她说，正是这种令人讨厌的方面引起她对角色的兴趣。
“人们会被现实生活中遇到冲突的女人吓到，”她说，“我认为女性比男性更容易这样，我从小看得电影都是关于男性遇到冲突的，Gene Hackman ， Dustin Hoffman和DeNiro 扮演了很多这样的角色，从这些角色中，我看到了一点自己的影子--那种与黑暗对抗的感觉。很少见到女性这样，但是我觉得我们现在正有机会去演绎这种真实的角色。”
Mavis 的故事和一般电影讲述的主角需要学到人生的一课不一样。不过导演 Jason Reitman 相信这样做是否正确是由观众表决的。
Patrick Wilson在《青年人》中饰演前高中男友。 Patton Oswalt 饰演试图站在理性角度思考的酒吧服务生。