In Theatres: 
Apr 03, 2009
Running Time: 
1 Hour, 46 Minutes

James (Jesse Eisenberg) has just graduated from college and been accepted into Columbia for Grad school. He has a visit to Europe during the summer to look forward to as well. Things seem to be going pretty good, that is, until his parents fall into some rough times and can't afford to send him on his European vacation or help him with Columbia. In order to raise some money for school, James is forced to work at Adventureland; the most not so fun theme park in town.

Aside from working with horrible carnival games, giant stuffed pandas, and crazy customers, James makes some good friends especially with Em (Kristen Stewart). I guess the entire summer isn't going to be as bad as he would have thought.

Greg Mottola, having previously made the hilarious Superbad, has quite the reputation. So does Adventureland live up to the expectations we have come to expect from Mottola? Not quite but it is for different reasons than one might expect.

First off, if you go in expecting Superbad, you'll be disappointed. Bill Hader has a role in the film as does Ryan Reynolds, who can be humorous at times.The film is only mildly funny and weighs more heavily on James' relationship with Em. It has a much more serious tone than one would expect from watching the trailers. Most of the comedy comes from James' old friend, Frigo (Matt Bush), and Hader. Aside from those two, there are occasional funny moments but nothing close to what Superbad provided.

The film is very mature in dealing with relationships and love. Even though it's all wrapped around jokes, the drama is still there and easily identifiable. The acting is decent even with Eisenberg being the mirror image of Michael Cera. I guess they just couldn't get him for the role. I've yet to see Twilight but from some of the comments I've heard, Stewart does a better job in this film. Bill Hader could have been in the film more as he definitely was not used to his full potential. Ryan Reynolds' character could have been played by anyone really.

Adventureland is something worth seeing, even if it isn't that funny. It provides much more than your typical underage drinking and sex (they're actually of legal age in this one). You'll laugh, some of you might shed a tear, but you'll ultimately have a good time watching it.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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