Charlize Theron

charlize theron

charlize theron

For a movie that so desperately wishes to be Tolkienesque, it's a questionable choice to burden it with both the Snow White moniker and Kristen Stewart. There's a certain stigma to the young actress, not limited to just her abilities or appearance, but more pressingly concerning the conflict between her presence and the requirements of a competent action adventure. Moments of creativity seep into the film in the form of special effects, atmospheric set designs, and macabre interpretations of the classic fairy tale, but for all the unique additions to the celebrated story, too many instances of overdramatic nonsense and liberally borrowed ideas from superior fantasy staples bury its momentum.

charlize theron

charlize theron

Though blessed by the birth of his beautiful daughter, Snow White (Kristen Stewart), King Magnus (Noah Huntley) falls into despair when his queen dies shortly after. Spying an opportunity to usurp the throne, wicked sorceress Ravenna (Charlize Theron) seduces the king and murders him. Declaring herself the new queen, she watches with gratification as Snow White languishes in a tower prison and the once lively kingdom crumbles beneath her tyrannical rule. When Ravenna's magic mirror informs her that she can obtain immortality by killing the king's daughter, she attempts to do just that - but Snow White escapes and hides in the treacherous realm of the Dark Forest. Once there she joins forces with eight dwarven warriors, her childhood friend William (Sam Claflin) and the very hunter sent to kill her (Chris Hemsworth) to plan an attack and reclaim the throne from the malevolent witch.

charlize theron

charlize theron

The strong approach of seriousness to the generally whimsical fairy tale is ironically the film's undoing. In an overly melodramatic, guts-and-glory-infused, action-oriented manner, Snow White and the Huntsman tries exhaustively to be awe-inspiring, resulting in accidental humor, generic dialogue, and unconvincing chivalry. It starts with a narration by the Huntsman (awkwardly never given a formal name - odd considering the evil queen is specifically christened) that seemingly follows the original Brothers Grimm version. Ten minutes in, however, it deviates sharply into a yarn of epic battles and macabre sorcery. This might be the only adaptation in which the magic mirror oozes from a metallic gong into a liquid-cloaked specter. And in what contrary, preposterous universe is Kristen Stewart fairer than Charlize Theron?

charlize theron

charlize theron

Magic comes at a lofty price, muses Finn (Sam Spruell), the queen's brother and yet another inessential addition. The spell-casting onslaught shares the screen with sinister makeup, lavish costume designs, and complex special effects, including appointing distinguished British actors to the roles of the dwarves. That's perhaps the only laudable aspect (and a costly gimmick); every bit of the plot struggles to imitate more substantial franchises and projects, most notably The Lord of the Rings, Willow, Conan, and Robin Hood. Theron is sensational for her brief introduction but rapidly becomes deluging when she substitutes flinch-worthy vociferating for believable ferocity. Silly fantasy also briskly edges out thrills with the worst offender being intensifying music and a rousing speech (a la Braveheart) by a mail-clad, sword wielding White that triggers nervous laughter. At least the movie has an angle to it, although that particular slant was similarly executed in 1997 (with the triple-Emmy-nominated TV movie Snow White: A Tale of Terror).

charlize theron

charlize theron

I was sick one day, a work day. I was on the couch watching television. It didn't matter what was on. Anything would do.

charlize theron

charlize theron

Until I got bored. So I decided to check out the On Demand movies. Young Adult was playing. I'd seen the trailers and they looked pretty funny. Okay, I bought it. I was looking forward to one of those quirky romantic comedies.

charlize theron

charlize theron

But it didn't turn out that way. It turned out to be a dark character study of a desperate woman. Give Charlize Theron credit for creating a nuanced study of the kind of woman you don't want to be.

charlize theron

charlize theron

This movie is depressing - a story of a woman who has no clue and lives off romantic delusions. Admit it. We are all that woman at some point in our lives. Besides good writing and acting, this is a must watch if only to see what delusional thinking can do to you.

charlize theron

charlize theron

Mavis (Charlize) is suffering from a recent divorce and an end to a successful part of her writing career. She falls into a depression and doesn't know what to do with her life. That is, until she decides to return to her hometown to win back her high school boyfriend, Buddy. Except that Buddy is now happily married with a new baby.

charlize theron

charlize theron

Does this small fact deter Mavis? Not at all. She is so convinced of her superiority that she's sure he only needs to see her to realize it. After all, she was the high school beauty queen. All the boys wanted her. But it was Buddy who won the lottery - her. And now he's about to get lucky again. The wife and baby are merely pebbles on the road to be kicked out of the way.

charlize theron

charlize theron

Back in town, Mavis runs into an old high school crony, a handicapped guy who used to adore her, and who becomes an unwilling accomplice/observer in her scheme. She goes into high gear, prepping her face and body for a drinks meet up with Buddy. It's just a minor distraction that he has to see her in the afternoon because of the baby's feeding schedule.

charlize theron

charlize theron

Again, Mavis is clueless. She positions her bombshell presence in his face. He's glad to see her but clearly doesn't give any vibe of sexual attraction. He's distracted with his new responsibilities. He's into his own life. He doesn't notice her soft touches on his arm or her disarming smile. He has to go. His wife needs him.

charlize theron

charlize theron

Mavis, on the other hand, believes the meeting is a wild success and the beginning of the new relationship they are forming. When Buddy calls to invite her to the house to meet the wifey, Mavis is sure he is saying he has the hots for her. She is sure things are moving forward according to plan.

charlize theron

charlize theron

For whatever reason, Mavis can't look at the failures in her own life - her marriage and her career - and plan a new positive direction for herself. Her solution is to return to a time when she was the undisputed winner, vanquishing all foes. A simpler time. High school. But now Mavis is 38 years old. That train has left the station, only she is the last to know. What Thomas Wolfe said is true: You can't go home again.

charlize theron

charlize theron

Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) makes a living ghostwriting novels geared towards the tween crowd. They call this Young Adult Fiction - YA in publisher's lingo. The books are part of a series created by another author. They were at one time incredibly popular. Now, the series has been cancelled. The book she's currently writing will be the final installment. Although she gets by financially, she does not live the glamorous life of a successful author. She lives alone in an unkempt Minneapolis apartment with her dog, an adorable Pomeranian, who she carries around yet doesn't seem to love unconditionally. One day, while rummaging through her e-mails, she comes across one sent by her high school sweetheart, who still lives in their small hometown, is now happily married, and has recently had a baby girl.

charlize theron

charlize theron

Mavis decides to return to her hometown and reclaim her lost love. His name is Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson). It doesn't matter that he has taken his vows, and it matters even less that he's raising a daughter. She knows he isn't happy. How can anyone be happy living in a small hick town, despite the fact that it has expanded to include a KFC, a Taco Bell, and a Pizza Hut (all put under the same roof)? She understands that he has baggage, but she's willing to work through it with him. This has to work out, because in her mind, they were always meant to be together. Clearly, reality has not caught up with this woman. Emotionally, she was stunted as a teenager; to this day, she wakes up every morning with a hangover. She lives in a fantasy world in which love conquers all, as demonstrated by films like The Graduate.

charlize theron

charlize theron

Jason Reitman's Young Adult was written by Diablo Cody, who, following Juno and Jennifer's Body, shows yet again her affinity for adolescent characters in interesting situations. What makes this particular film noteworthy is that the adolescent is a woman in her thirties. On the basis of her binge drinking and stubborn refusal to let go of the past, Mavis has absolutely no desire to grow up. Hers is a world of impossible ideals. When she finally reunites with Buddy, it's at a Chili's-type restaurant; she would have preferred the bar they used to hang out at, but he's a father now, and he has to be home by a certain time. She makes herself so alluring that she looks strikingly out of place - a slinky black dress with a low neckline, fancy jewelry, a neat manicure and pedicure, perfectly applied makeup, an attractive 'do enhanced by a hairpiece.

charlize theron

charlize theron

Buddy seems pleased to see Mavis, although there's no real indication that he's interested in running away with her to the city. He's a simple, small-town guy living a simple, small-town life. He loves his wife, Beth (Elizabeth Reaser), the drummer for a local girl band. He's devoted to his daughter. Why can't Mavis see that he's happy as he is? Keeping tabs over the situation is Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt), who not only attended the same high school as Mavis but also had the locker directly next to hers. He now works as an accountant for the restaurant. She doesn't remember him until she sees him walking with a crutch; while still a teenager, he was beaten by gang of bullies who thought he was gay. It was considered a hate crime until he was discovered to be straight. It wasn't a mere schoolyard scuffle. His leg was shattered, and his penis was permanently damaged. He ended up missing six months of school.

charlize theron

charlize theron

Matt is in some ways just as stunted as Mavis. He lives with his sister, and he spends most of his time painting action figures. He brews his own bourbon in his garage, naming the label after the Mos Eisley spaceport in Star Wars. Back in high school, he was never noticed. He was, to put it bluntly, a short, fat science fiction nerd. Mavis was, of course, hugely popular. That didn't stop guys like Matt from noticing her. Now he's seeing her at her worst. And isn't it funny that she's only noticing him now, when he's far from his best? He's certainly not at his worst; that would have been when he was first beaten. Even then, she never gave much thought to it. When she first speaks with him, she refers to him only as "the hate-crime guy."

charlize theron

charlize theron

One of the interesting things about Young Adult is that neither Cody nor Reitman go to great lengths to make Mavis a likeable character. We don't especially sympathize with her from the start, and by the end, we've pretty much sided against her completely. We see right through her beauty. We might even take a little pleasure in watching it fade over the course of just a few days. At last, she looks as miserable on the outside as she is on the inside. Who does she think she is, coming into town hoping to destroy a marriage and family? How has she deluded herself into believing that she's trying to do Buddy a favor? The truth is, it has absolutely nothing to do with him. At a certain point, she's just going to have to realize that life doesn't follow the pages of a young adult novel.

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