Youth in Revolt not rebellious enough

Michael Cera playing an arrogant ladies' man gives an otherwise flimsy movie its comedic pulse.

Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) is the world's most talkative introvert. Socially inexperienced, constructing elaborate sentences and fascinated by foreign films and French songwriters, he falls hard for Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday)---an equally highbrow teen, who's hot enough that her cool factor is miles above his own. Youth in Revolt's indie intellect is cliche, and that heightens why this take on the C.D. Payne novel is inauthentic. Teenagers like Nick and Sheeni don't prominently exist outside the minds of upper crust writers. As Nick reinvents himself as arrogant ladies man Francois Dillinger, it's a comment on how accepted machismo can veer into sociopathy. This allows Cera to branch out of his repertoire for once, and in doing so director Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl) finds a comedic pulse. As a movie, though, Youth in Revoltis at once too busy and too flimsy. It's a disingenuous pic frequently saved by funny asides. –Mark Palermo

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