It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Michael Cera is not a sissy. It's more like he's unusual... diffident. Laid-back to a point approaching the horizontal. Yet he yearns. He's so filled with desire, it slops over. I speak not of the real Cera, unknown to me, but of the persona he has perfected in such movies as "Superbad," "Juno," "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist" and most recently, "Paper Heart."
That was the comedy that pretended to be a documentary about his romance with Charlyne Yi, which was also going on in real life. That made for some ambivalent scenes, particularly since Yi herself is so far laid-back, the two could star in a movie based on "Flatland."
"Youth in Revolt" gives Cera the twee name Nick Twisp, surrounds his aging virgin act with divorced parents who are both shacked up with lustful vulgarians and then provides him with a dream come true in the person of Sheeni Saunders. She's played by Portia Doubleday, a newcomer whose name will always be more melodious than those of her characters. Nick and Sheeni meet during a family vacation at the sublimely named Restless Axles trailer park. For Sheeni, who speaks as if influenced by "Juno," virginity is a once-touching affectation, and Nick Twisp is oh so eager to join her in this opinion. But there are many obstacles to their bliss, worst of all his family's tragic return home.
His mother, Estelle (Jean Smart), lives with Jerry (Zach Galifianakis), a beer-swilling, belching lout who makes Nick's skin crawl. Nick's father, George Twisp (Steve Buscemi), recently laid off, has robbed the cradle for his live-in, Lacey (Ari Graynor). Both parents all but flaunt their lovers before poor Nick; at Restless Axles. His mom asks Nick to clean up after dinner while she and Jerry (after his post-prandial burp) retire to the bedroom a few feet away for noisy rumpy-pumpy.