Friday, February 05, 2010

Adventureland

One of the great things about being sick is getting your temperature taken analy.

Wait, that’s not right. Let me try that again.

One of the great things about being sick is that you get to stay home from work and watch a lot of movies from Netflix.

Out of everything I watched yesterday in my fever-induced haze, the one that impressed me the most was Adventureland.

The problem is, I’m not sure if it was REALLY a good movie, or if I’m just extremely bias towards it.

A bit of explanation.

Adventureland is the story of a young man, just finishing high school in the Summer of 1987, who is forced to take a shitty Summer job at a local amusement park in order to make enough cash to follow his dream of living in Manhattan. It is basically a coming-of-age story that follows this young man as he finds everything from his first love, to his place in the world, and his future.

In the movie, Adventureland is a fictional park located in the suburbs outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

But the ACTUAL park that writer Greg Matola REALLY worked at in the summer of 87 is right here on Long Island (edit: fixed the link!). It’s actually about 3 miles from where I’m sitting right now. You may even remember hearing me talking about it a few times before.

It’s the place where I got to first base with Long Island Lolita Amy Fisher, for starters.

Anyway, Adventureland has been a Long Island attraction for decades. As a misguided teen, I spent MANY wayward nights hanging out at that park.

A few of those wayward nights just happened to have taken place in the Summer of 1987.

It’s no surprise that this movie really struck a chord with me. From the sets, to the way everyone dressed, to the aimless, trying-to-find-themselves attitudes of the kids all stuck working there that Summer, the film just really resonated with me, and paralleled how I felt about life and my future during that lazy Summer.

You may remember hearing about the movie when it premiered last Summer, but more than likely, you didn’t. The movie pretty much tanked financially. I think it was mostly because it was billed as “From the Writer of Superbad”, and it wasn’t that type of movie AT ALL. It wasn’t an outrageous comedy. It was a subtle one. One that has stayed with me since yesterday, refusing to let me stop thinking about it.

Everyone in this movie was spectacular. From Jesse Eisenberg, who has impressed me since his star turn in Zombieland, to Ryan Reynolds, to some very funny supporting roles by SNL alums Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader as the park owners, everything about this film worked for me.

And no one surprised me more than Kristen Stewart, of Twilight fame. She was absolutely REAL in this movie, and I loved her in it. I may just have to finally watch those Twilight movies after all, now.

Ok, that’s enough rambling about a movie that most of you haven’t seen, and probably never will.

I just wanted you all to know that this film grabbed me and threw me into a time machine and sent me back to a part of my life that I really wasn’t prepared to visit again. And it did it very well. While watching it, I felt that if I looked VERY hard, I might be able to spot an 18 year-old Slyde, in the background, playing one of the carnival games trying to win a prize for my girlfriend, while wondering just what the Hell I was going to do with my life.

I can’t ask much more than that from something that took up 90 minutes of my day.

17 comments:

mo.stoneskin said...

I always suspected you were a carnival junkie.

Slyde said...

i usually just try to guess the weight of the bearded lady...

i am the diva said...

i just watched that show last week... it was great!

but in my opinion, kristen stewart's only acting talent lies in the various ways she can scrunch up her face and run her hands through her hair, and pout. but she all those three things DOWN!!!

i thought it was pretty cute, all told

Slyde said...

i just thought she was REAL. a very convincing, unglamourous role..

Nej said...

I hadn't seen it BECAUSE of the Superbad director reference. I think I might have to check it out now though! :-)

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

OMG!! I SAW THIS MOVIE YESTERDAY TOO!! WHILE I WAS SICK!! WEIRD COINCIDENCE!!

wait, did you come over to my house without me knowing it? ;)
CRAZY!@!!!

but. The movie weighed on me too. I don't know if i really liked it though. So much melancholy, so much doing the job of lazy pathetic morons.

I think my favorite scene was when the main character, Jesse Eisenberg, was sitting in the lawn chair with his friend. The one that was into Russian literature. He had the thick glasses and dark hair.

And Jesse is whining about how he can't quite decide between the two main love interests. He's all torn between that girl from the vampire films or the hot girl. And his friend is all like, "You have no idea what's in front of you. You suck. I can't even get one girl."

I love that because yeah, dude has no idea. No idea of where he is or where he is going or what he has in front of him.

But really, can any of us, now that were all fabulous adults, can any of us say we had a clue at 18?
Well, i think we all had a clue that change was coming. Childhood was over. I knew it sucked and I watched sad foreign movies a lot. BAH!!

THANK GOD I landed where I am now. With my hot husband and fabulous kids. And my awesome job.

I never want to go back to that place of listless wondering. Thank goodness that time of melancholy is over for me.

take care and really, next time you come over, you need to bring some beer! ;)

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

yeah, i should have played more carival games and at least TRIED pot. at least once ;)

B.E. Earl said...

Wait, if you were 18 in 1987 that would make you...gasp...in your forties now! And only about a year and a half younger than me! Gasp!

I hereby throw every single old man comment you have ever left on my blog back in your face. Old man.

meleah rebeccah said...

I LOVED the Movie Adventure Land.

Cocaine Princess said...

Feel better.

sybil law said...

Aww - I love movies like that!!
You should've posted a pic of 18 year old Slyde. :)

vinomom said...

I love movies like that. I am definitely going to check this one out. If The Boyfriend were speaking to me I'd go see if we could download it on Netflix tonite.

Susan Higgins said...

Well Slyde... because of your post, I will watch this movie. It's definitely a movie up my alley. Thanks for the review, you may have found your 2nd calling as a movie critic!?

Chris H said...

I have not seen that movie advertised here AT ALL.
Sorry to hear you were stuck at home sick...

terri said...

I'm going to have to see it. I'm sure to some degree, the movie's location being so familiar to you had something to do with you really liking it. But it has to be more than that if you liked it that much.

After all, Jingle All the Way was filmed in my neck of the woods and I still say it is one of the worst movies ever made.

Bruce said...

Interesting post, but I can't get passed the "first base with Amy Fisher"....things. That just freaks me out (why the hell do you keep bringing that up?...are you proud?)

Hope you feel better, but since you wrote this like 2 weeks ago, you should.

mistressmom said...

I haven't watched Adventureland yet, but I know the feeling you're describing. Critics and moviegoers panned The Wackness, but I fell in love with it because it reminded me of my teens.