Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Diablo Cody - Young Adult

“I wanted to keep this movie grounded in reality.”
- Diablo Cody

Screenwriter Diablo Cody’s greatest achievement with her latest project, Young Adult, is to bring her audience to a point where they sympathize and empathize with the film’s in many ways distinctly unlikable central character. Mavis Gary (played by Charlize Theron) is the seemingly successful author of a series of young adult novels, who on the page has everything going for her. Yet, despite being blessed in both the looks and career department, happiness eludes her.

When an invitation arrives in her inbox to the christening of the daughter of her high school sweetheart, Buddy (Patrick Wilson), Mavis decides to return to her hometown to reclaim her former glory – and her former boyfriend. Blinded by her own narcissism, Mavis chooses to ignore the fact that Buddy is now happily married as she obsessively engages in the shameless pursuit of her unavailable ex.

A chance meeting with a former classmate she barely remembers, Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt), provides Mavis with a drinking buddy, and a voice of reason. However, despite forming an unlikely bond with Matt, who in the wake of a high school beating is left as physically challenged as she is mentally, Mavis is unwilling and unable to retreat from the comfort of her self-delusions to see her world as it really is.

As with Cody’s Academy Award-winning screenplay for Juno, Young Adult combines subtle storytelling with unconventional choices. An exercise in nuance and tone, which sees Cody reunited with her Juno cohort, director Jason Reitman (Up In The Air), the film features award-worthy performances from both Theron and Oswalt that – as with the script – are remarkable for their realness.

I sat down with Cody in New York to talk about the film.

Read my exclusive interview with Diablo Cody on SuicideGirls.com.

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