On Wednesday the Landmark Edina Cinema was the site of the first U.S. audience screening of "Young Adult," the new film from the "Juno" team of Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody. The much-anticipated new collaboration shares some stylistic notes with their earlier effort -- a pop-saturated soundtrack, a woman-child stuck between adolescence and adulthood, a droll appreciation of daily life in suburbia. It's also a step in a new direction, both for the creative team and for movies, a mature and humane comedy centered on a misanthropic female antihero.
Think of it as "Juno's" wicked step sister.
Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, a divorced writer (or as she perfers it, "author") of "Sweet Valley High"-style teen novels. Though she's in her thirties, Mavis never really graduated high school. Her Mineapolis high rise apartment has the depressing, slumlike impermanence of a crash pad. Her social life consists of one-night hookups and lunches spent belittling former acquaintances with a catty former classmate who fled Mercury, Minn. for the big city. At once haughty and insecure, Mavis is a textbook case of arrested development. To top it off, she's still obsessed with her former high school sweetheart, Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson). Her fixation flares when Buddy's wife emails her an announcement welcoming their newborn child.