Adventureland is being marketed as a a typical teen coming-of-age comedy, and it sort of is that, but it may not be quite what the fans expect. It’s a bit more serious and low-key than the raucous comedies popular today, more like the teen movies that were popular in the 1980s. If this turns into a trend I won’t be disappointed.
The story takes place in the summer of 1987. James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), a young college graduate who had planned to take a European vacation before graduate school, is forced by his family’s financial reverses to take a summer job in a run-down amusement park. Lots of predictable hijinks ensue with his young coworkers, but there is an edgy undertone, a sense that these kids are taking risks that they don’t really understand.
Bill Hader gives a hilarious performance as the sleazy owner of the park, and Kristen Stewart is charming as the main love interest.