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"ADVENTURELAND"
(2009) (Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Mild Heavy Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None None Minor Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Moderate Heavy Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Dramedy: When his post-graduation trip to Europe is canceled, a young man ends up taking a menial summer job at a local amusement park where he falls for one of his coworkers.
PLOT:
Having just graduated from college, James Brennan (JESSE EISENBERG) is looking forward to a European trip with his friend with whom he'll live in New York City come fall. But the summer trip is scuttled when his parents (JACK GILPIN & WENDIE MALICK) inform him that they can no longer afford it due to his dad being demoted at work.

With no useable skills that might land him a decent summer job, James ends up working at Adventureland, the local amusement park run by Bobby (BILL HADER) and Paulette (KRISTEN WIIG). Besides lamenting the notion of working all summer with a kid he grew up with, Tommy Frigo (MATT BUSH), who has a thing for punching him in the crotch, James isn't happy when Bobby turns down his request to run a ride.

Instead, he ends up assigned to work one of the carny games, much like Joel Schiffman (MARTIN STARR) who has a realistic but droll view of himself and general outlook on life. He's attracted to sexpot Lisa P (MARGERITA LEVIEVA) who's returned for another summer of work at the park -- but he eventually ends up drunkenly making out with another young employee, Sue (PAIGE HOWARD) -- while James finds himself drawn to Em Lewin (KRISTEN STEWART), a pretty girl who's disillusioned with her life. Little does James know, however, that she's secretly having an affair with Mike Connell (RYAN REYNOLDS), the park's married maintenance man who becomes something of James' older mentor.

As the various young people schlep through their menial tasks at the park day and night through the summer, they must contend with various issues, including budding romances and thoughts about their futures.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The story idea might draw some (focusing on young people working at an amusement park), while fans of anyone in the cast or the director (who last did "Superbad") might also be interested in it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language, drug use and sexual references.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JESSE EISENBERG plays a recent college graduate who finds his summer plans upended due to his dad's demotion and the family's sudden shortage of money. As a result, he takes a job working at the local amusement park where he works in one of the game booths. A virgin, he fools around with various girls, including Em. He smokes pot, drinks (including doing some drunk driving), uses strong profanity, and must contend with various disappointments in his life.
  • KRISTEN STEWART plays a young woman at the park who isn't happy with her life, including that involving her stepmother. As a result, she's been having an affair with Mike, but finds herself romantically drawn to James. She uses strong profanity, drinks and smokes pot.
  • MARTIN STARR plays another park worker with a droll attitude toward most everything, including how he's perceived by others. He uses strong profanity, smoke a pipe, and likes Lisa, but fools around with Sue.
  • RYAN REYNOLDS plays the park's maintenance man who gives advice to James, but is cheating on his wife with Em. He uses strong profanity, drinks and smokes pot.
  • MARGERITA LEVIEVA plays the sexually provocative, but reportedly virgin teen who works at the park. She briefly fools around with James, spreads gossip about Em, uses strong profanity, and smokes pot.
  • JACK GILPIN plays James' dad who must deal with a demotion at work, something he tries to drown in drink.
  • WENDIE MALICK plays James' mom who tries to be realistic with him and their unexpected shortage of money, and occasionally becomes fed up with his behavior.
  • MATT BUSH plays James' childhood friend who still hangs around him and works at the park. Immature and the user of profanity, he thinks it's fun to punch James repeatedly in the crotch.
  • BILL HADER plays the park manager who's a bit eccentric, but wants the park and its employees to be the best. He uses some strong profanity.
  • KRISTEN WIIG plays Bobby's work associate and wife or girlfriend.
  • PAIGE HOWARD plays a park employee who drunkenly makes out with Joel, but the next day politely tries to rebuke him by pointing out she's Catholic and he's Jewish.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this dramedy that's been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 52 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue (some of it explicit) is present, while some making out/fooling around occurs (with off-screen sex implied) and there are several references to erections.

    There's some punching of others (including to the crotch), while various characters drink (including driving under the influence), some smoke, and various characters smoke pot in various scenes. Bad attitudes are present, as is behavior that some viewers might want to imitate. There's some crude humor/material as well as tense family material.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some handheld camera footage in the film.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Teens drink at a party.
  • James' dad has a drink in a restaurant, and then orders another.
  • James' friend lights up a joint (stating it's "good weed") in broad daylight in view of their parents (but they don't notice, something he predicted). He then gives James a bag of joints for the summer, and tells him not to worry as "that is what the weed is for."
  • James' dad has an empty drink by him while he sleeps.
  • Em shares Cuban rum with Joel and James.
  • James and Em have rum in a car.
  • Em drinks and drives.
  • People have drinks at a party and James gives Em a joint. We later see others smoking pot at the party. When Em and James get into the pool outside, she asks if he has any more pot and he says he does, at home. Later, and back inside, James has a drink and Em announces she's buzzed, asking if James is and he says yes.
  • James drunk drives home, and there's talk of a whole bottle of vodka.
  • James and Em drink shots in a bar where others drink, and he then has a beer.
  • Mike gives James a beer at work, and James covertly drinks from it.
  • Lisa P tells James she heard he might have some weed. Later, they share a joint and she states she's "majorly high." Even later, James rapidly eats his dinner at home where his dad has a drink.
  • Mike asks Em if she wants a beer, she asks if he has anything stronger, and the two then have drinks.
  • Mike and James share a joint in a car.
  • Em, James, Joel and others drink at a club. A park employee with Joel ends up being falling down drunk, and makes out with him in a parked car.
  • James and Lisa P have wine in a restaurant.
  • James and Lisa P share a joint.
  • James finds a bottle of liquor in his dad's car.
  • James brings Em his bag of joints, and then there's talk of cookies containing pot.
  • While high, James jokes about one of the sliding horses in his carnival game being tired after inseminating many foals. Bobby calls him on that, asking if he's been toking up and/or drinking, with James saying he hasn't, but Bobby and Paulette comment on his red eyes, and Bobby takes over the game for him.
  • Em states that she's really high.
  • Mike pours drinks for Em and himself, but she doesn't want any, so he pours hers into his.
  • Frigo says he stole some of his grandmother's cough medicine and asks James if he wants some, but he says no.
  • James and Lisa P have drinks in a club.
  • Em's dad, stepmom and others have drinks, and Em then walks in and pours herself one.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a bar where James has a shot and then another. We later see him drinking and driving (with his dad's bottle of booze that was in the car), and he barely misses a car but appears to hit a tree, but we later see it was just a shrub. He then vomits (heard) from being in that state.
  • We see lots of beer cans by James and Joel outside. Frigo then jokingly tells James not to get drunk or else "I'll jack (or jerk) off on your face."
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A miscellaneous kid picks his nose.
  • A kid vomits at the park.
  • Frigo urinates on a window from the outside (seen from the inside and just the stream -- no genital view).
  • Frigo vomits on a car.
  • When a coworker tries to come on to her, Lisa P points out some (unseen) "dried puke" she wants the guy to clean.
  • Joel holds a slightly bloody rag or something similar to his nose after being punched there.
  • The term "pretty barfaricic" is used.
  • James vomits (heard) from being intoxicated.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Frigo punches James in the crotch (as a gag, but it causes James pain). He does this in other scenes as well.
  • We see that various games at the park are fixed to prevent people from winning.
  • While one guy distracts James, another holds a kid over a bottle game to insure that he wins, and then pretends it was done the legit way. When James calls him on that, the man displays that he's wearing a large knife and the term "faggot" is used. Em then rushes over to give that man a prize to make him leave.
  • Mike is cheating on his never-seen wife by having an affair with Em (who knows he's married).
  • After Bobby gets after a park patron to put his trash into a trash can, the punk throws it at Bobby who then gives chase (played for laughs).
  • When her stepmom mentions a childhood friend of Em, Em says that girl violated their cat with a ballpoint pen.
  • Em obviously doesn't like or get along with her stepmom, and talks to James about that. She says that it was ironic that her dad started "f*cking" the eventual stepmom (who was bald due to stress) while her real mom was bald from chemo treatments.
  • A park employee, Sue, who drunkenly made out with Joel, says she can't see him since he's Jewish (he says he's an atheist) and she's Catholic, and that her parents found out. When Em hears about this, she storms up to that other girl, says they can't be friends and that the other girl is "an anti-Semitic asshole."
  • Frigo punches James in the crotch after blackmailing him about catching him on a date with Lisa P.
  • After hearing that Paulette forgot to refrigerate the latest shipment of corndogs, Bobby thinks for a moment, and then tells others to prepare them for sale anyway.
  • Frigo refers to a mentally challenged park employee as a "retard."
  • A guy has a bad attitude toward James.
  • James tells Lisa P about Em having an affair with Mike, but asks her not to tell anyone. She tells at least one person, and the story then spreads to many people at the park who then look at Em differently, causing her to quit.
  • Em and her stepmom have it out in front of others, with Em telling her, "I don't owe you sh*t" (in terms of apologizing), followed by her stepmom replying, "You ungrateful little bitch."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • After a park patron realizes Joel's carnival game is fixed (hats glued onto figures, thus preventing balls from knocking them off), he becomes indignant, the phrase "faggot" is used, and a baseball is thrown at Joel. The guy then punches Joel and grabs Em when she tries to intervene. James then punches that guy, but flees from his buddy, taking refuge in Bobby's office. Bobby then goes out and chases the jerk away.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • A guy shows James that he's armed with a knife (to make James give up a carny prize despite the guy cheating).
  • There are fake guns in a carnival game.
  • A vintage video game shows some lasers being fired.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "That's f*cking harsh," "F*ck, this is good weed," "The greatest f*cking city in the world," "F*ck that," "Jesus f*cking Christ," "F*cking sadists," "You didn't just f*ck her any way?" "F*cked (this) up," "You're a f*cking idiot," "What the f*ck /was that?" "What is so f*cking funny?" "You're f*cking dead," "M*therf*cker," "F*ck off, f*ck-face," "Right f*cking there," "F*ck this," "Shut the f*ck up," "I f*cked up," "F*ck the old world," "Sh*tty," "Utter sh*t," "Oh sh*t," "Sh*t-holes," "There's a lot of sh*t in my life," "Full of sh*t," "Holy sh*t," "That's bullsh*t," "Here's to sexually permissive cultures," "What a p*ssy," "Boner," "Boned you?" "What the hell /are you doing/was that/is wrong with you?" "I know things suck," "I'm screwed," "Giant ass," "Faggot," "(That) Sucks," "Freaking awesome," "You perv," "Such a douche," "Hell no," "Chick," "Eat it," "You scared the hell out of us," "Kind of nutty," "Piss off," "You're an anti-Semitic asshole," "You son of a bitch," "A double sack-whack," "Bastard," "Nimrod," "Are you crazy?" "Gonna freak out," "Freaking," "Pretty barf-arific," "You ungrateful little bitch," "How the hell are you?" and "What a pisser."
  • Various young people drink and smoke pot in various scenes.
  • A guy gives "the finger" to James while riding by on his bicycle.
  • Frigo punches James in the crotch (as a gag, but it causes James pain). That's repeated several more times during the film.
  • While one guy distracts James, another holds a kid over a bottle game to insure that he wins, and then pretends it was done the legit way. When James calls him on that, the man displays that he's wearing a large knife and the term "faggot" is used. Em then rushes over to give that man a prize to make him leave.
  • Em drinks and drives.
  • Frigo urinates on a window from the outside, trying to be funny.
  • James drives home while intoxicated.
  • Mike gives James a beer at work, and James covertly drinks from it.
  • After Bobby gets after a park patron to put his trash into a trash can, the punk throws it at Bobby who then gives chase (played for laughs).
  • Lisa P wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • Frigo makes the mal oral sex gesture.
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song had lyrics that we couldn't fully hear/understand, thus presenting the possibility of it potentially containing something objectionable.
  • A song has the lyric, "When it comes to making love..."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 52 "f" words (2 used with "mother," 3 used sexually as is the term "screw"), 24 "s" words, 3 slang terms using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 11 asses (2 used with "hole"), 9 hells, 1 S.O.B., 4 uses of "Oh my God," 3 of "Jesus," 2 each of "For God's sakes," "Jesus Christ," "Oh Christ" and "Oh God," and 1 use of "G-damn."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • About James still being a virgin, his friend tells him he needs to bed down the next plain-looking depressive he meets, and then (about heading to Europe) toasts, "Here's to sexually permissive cultures."
  • There's talk of Mike getting "p*ssy" by being in a band.
  • Em, fully clothed, has James join her in a pool at night outside a party. He strips down to his underwear and gets into the water, and after a few moments, she gets out (a rear view showing wet t-shirt and panties, the latter with a little bare butt showing). Having seen that, James tells her he'll join her in a moment (implying he has an erection he doesn't want her to see), so she goes inside. He then gets out (in just his underwear) and Frigo loudly exclaims, "You've got a boner!" (we don't see it).
  • Mike and Em passionately kiss, he grabs her clothed butt, and hoists her up around his waist. They start undressing a bit (no nudity) and sex is implied.
  • After Joel points out that Lisa P is back at the park (clothed), he enthusiastically comments on the "shape of her ass" as well as her pudendum (not seen).
  • About his former girlfriend, Em asks James if the sex was good (not realizing he's a virgin). He replies she was sexy, with Em asking if he's been with lots of girls. He asks if they're talking about intercourse, she says yes, and he replies that there were a couple of times he could have. She then realizes he's a virgin, and after he says a girlfriend wanted to have sex but he wasn't into her anymore, Em asks, "You didn't just f*ck her anyway?" He then asks about her and intercourse, with her telling him to stop using that word. She then says there were some in high school and others.
  • James suddenly kisses Em, with her doing the same back to him. The scene ends, but no sex occurs.
  • Em asks Mike where he wants to go (for sex), but then says not the backseat of his car. She later asks if he's still hot for his wife and how the sex is between them, but he doesn't want to talk about that.
  • Em and James make out in a car but are interrupted, and we next seem them doing the same at her house (both clothed), but are interrupted when her dad and stepmom come home. James gets up to greet them, holding a pillow over his crotch.
  • Em obviously doesn't like or get along with her stepmom, and talks to James about that. She says that it was ironic that her dad started "f*cking" the eventual stepmom (who was bald due to stress) while her real mom was bald from chemo treatments.
  • Lisa P (in a midriff-revealing top) and another girl do some sexy dancing at the park. Later, they do the same at a club, including making sexually suggestive hand gestures at their own crotches and chests.
  • Em's midriff is exposed while lying down.
  • Mike tells James that Lisa P is a virgin due to being Catholic, and while they won't let you "screw them," they'll do other stuff. About Em, Mike asks James if he's getting all of his needs met by her. He then asks James that when he sees a beautiful woman doesn't he imagine what she'd look like naked beneath him.
  • Lisa P mentions a girl Mike used to take to his mom's basement for sex.
  • A painting shows a rear view of a woman in a bikini.
  • James and Lisa P make out in a parked car, with him nuzzling her neck and then groping her clothed breast. She sort of likes that, calling him Tiger, but gets out of the car, and nothing else happens.
  • While high, James jokes about one of the sliding horses in his carnival game being tired after inseminating many foals.
  • Em and James make out.
  • James admits to Em that he kissed Lisa P and felt her breast. Em asks if there was intercourse, and James says no.
  • Frigo informs James, through a mentally challenged park employee who says he saw Mike and Em doing pushups in a parked car without pants, of that affair. The "f" word is used sexually.
  • A song has the lyric, "When it comes to making love..."
  • Frigo makes the mal oral sex gesture.
  • The term "boned you?" is used.
  • We see lots of beer cans by James and Joel outside. Frigo then jokingly tells James not to get drunk or else "I'll jack (or jerk) off on your face."
  • We see James shirtless after removing his rain-soaked shirt. He and Em then make out and start undressing, with him asking if they're going to do this (have sex) and she replies she thinks so. We then see a head and shoulders and then torso shot of them presumably having sex, but due to the body placement and camera angle, no explicit nudity is seen.
  • SMOKING
  • Joel smokes a pipe more than 5 times, while some minor characters smoke in a few scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • James' parents inform him that due to his dad's demotion, they can't afford to send him on his college graduation trip to Europe, or pay for his grad school.
  • Em states her mom died 2 years ago.
  • Em obviously doesn't like or get along with her stepmom, and talks to James about that. She says that it was ironic that her dad started "f*cking" the eventual stepmom (who was bald due to stress) while her real mom was bald from chemo treatments.
  • Mike states his dad left long ago.
  • Em overhears her dad and stepmom arguing.
  • Em and her stepmom have it out in front of others, with Em telling her, "I don't owe you sh*t" (in terms of apologizing), followed by her stepmom replying, "You ungrateful little bitch."
  • About James damaging the car from drunk driving, his mom angrily asks, "What the hell is wrong with you?"
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Menial summer jobs.
  • James still being a virgin after college graduation.
  • Young people drinking and using drugs.
  • We see that various games at the park are fixed to prevent people from winning.
  • Em drinks and drives. James later does the same.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Frigo punches James in the crotch (as a gag, but it causes James pain).
  • Someone throws a corndog that hits Joel on the head.
  • Frigo punches James in the crotch again.
  • After Bobby gets after a park patron to put his trash into a trash can, the punk throws it at Bobby who then gives chase (played for laughs).
  • Lisa P talks of a past incident where a rider lost a foot extended out of the ride (just described, not seen).
  • Frigo punches James in the crotch after blackmailing him about catching him on a date with Lisa P.
  • After a park patron realizes Joel's carnival game is fixed (hats glued onto figures, thus preventing balls from knocking them off), he becomes indignant, the phrase "faggot" is used, and a baseball is thrown at Joel. The guy then punches Joel and grabs Em when she tries to intervene. James then punches that guy, but flees from his buddy, taking refuge in Bobby's office. Bobby then goes out and chases the jerk away.
  • James runs over some shrubs and damages the family car while drunk driving.
  • In response to the reverse happening throughout the film, James punches Frigo in the crotch.



  • Reviewed March 11, 2009 / Posted April 3, 2009

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