JT Film Review

74 – Youth in Revolt (2009)

Youth in Revolt REVIEW

3/5 stars

Director – Miquel Arteta

Cast – Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Steve Buscemi, Ray Liotta, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long, Adhir Kalyan


Michael Cera continues his run of awkward teen roles with Youth in Revolt, a comedy based on the 1993 book of the same name by C. D. Payne. The book, by all accounts, has quite a cult following. The movie may get a cult following of its own I think, as it certainly has its own unique brand of charm. Michael Cera is his usual self, but the rest of the cast performs well.

The movie has a great opening and a good last half, but the middle is uneven and stunted. There are moments where it seemed that they were trying hard to earn its R rating (although here in Canada it is just a PG 14.). There would be some hard swearing that would really throw us out of the relatively light hearted tone of the movie. It threw me a couple times, as if it seemed out of place.

This charming tone is helped by a few animated segments, done in a “claymation”/Robot Chicken style. These sequences are mainly when the main character is traveling, etc. The little figures don’t look exactly look like Cera and Co., but they have are absolutely irresistible.

With all the comedic talent in this movie (Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Steve Buscemi, etc.), the standout performance to me was by an unknown, Adhir Kalyan. His mastery of accents and subdues comic timing is impeccable. He switches with ease from what I think is his native British accent to an Indian accent with lightning speed and wonderful clarity. I personally hope to see this guy get more roles.


While Youth in Revolt has some great stars and a story rich in potential, it just doesn’t quite come together as well as it should. It is draggy, and seemingly without focus, even though the story is quite simple. With some things that should have been played for laughs and aren’t, it is very hit and miss.



“Youth in Revolt” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia



January 26, 2010 - Posted by | 3 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Comedy, Year - 2000-2009 | , , , ,

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