Youth in Revolt (2009) – Film Review

Youth in RevoltYouth in Revolt poster

Starring Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday

Directed by Miguel Arteta – Based on the novel by C.D. Payne

IMDB Rating: 6.5

A fairly basic film that takes a look at the extreme – and not entirely false – measures a teenage boy will go to lose his virginity.

16 year old Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) is a virgin, living in a house with his sex-hungry mother and being annoyed at the world for having more sex than him. While camping in Ukiah, Nick meets Sheeni (Portia Doubleday) and falls head-over-heels mad for her, convinced she is the one to take his virginity. Sheeni convinces him that he has to be bad to be with her, leading Nick to create an alter-ego named Francois, the name Sheeni gave to her future husband. His alter-ego leads to him getting into more trouble than the girl is worth.

The story is quite an interesting one. The young teenager, so desperate to be with this one girl that he’ll change everything about himself – even becoming criminal. The story isn’t very complicated, but it’s still interesting to see how Nick changes over time, and I’m sure some people will be able to relate to Nick on some level!

Michael Cera’s performance is the most impressive, more for Francois than Nick. Nick is the stereotypical character that Michael seems to always play – the shy, quiet, love-struck pup. But Francois is something different – an arrogant, aggressive, cocky, foul-mouthed teen determined to bring Nick’s world crumbling down, all for the girl. Portia Doubleday is solid in this film, although her character is fairly easy to portray and there is not much emotion involved.

The film isn’t particularly pretty to watch, in terms of camera angles and shots. There is a particularly good shot in the form of Nick’s shower seen after seeing Sheeni for the first time, and some of the different cut-scenes using different animation styles are clever – but other than that nothing really stands out as being a great piece of directing by Miguel Arteta.

Overall, this is an interesting film and it is nice to see Michael Cera do something different. The film doesn’t really have any re-watchability but I would recommend that fans of Cera, or teenage romances in general, give it a go at least once.

Seen Youth in Revolt? Let me know what you thought!
I couldn’t think of a related poll for this film, so I want to know your teenage love stories! How far did you go as a teenager for the girl/boy of your dreams? Let me know in the comments below and if there’s enough I’ll create a special article looking at how far we all went for love as kids.

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