Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adventureland (2009) Film Review - Kennywood Park location

Plot Summary - Coming of age romantic comedy set in Pittsburgh, the summer of 1987. About James (Jesse Eisenberg), just graduated from college and - a virgin, it is announced - who is forced to get his first summer job when his father gets transferred (and has less money). No experience, the only job he can get is as a carny operating games at local amusement park Adventureland. James meets several new friends working there that summer including fellow game operator, attractive Em (Kristen Stewart). He quickly becomes lovestruck over Em, but Em seems torn between him and married, a bit older park maintenance guy who she is busy sleeping with in his mom's basement (or sometimes in the back of his car!). Romance blossoms between James and Em, but James has a fling of his own when a sexy park dancer/ride operator comes onto him. Will this be the summer that James loses his virginity? and will he end up with a new love?

Review - This film came as a bit of a surprise - very good, with well done blossoming romance and fun setting, on-location filming done almost entirely in the old-fashioned amusement park (filmed at Kennywood Park, West Mifflin, near Pittsburgh, PA - yeah, I'd like to go there one day!). The two leads take their parts to heart and do a really good job here - especially Jesse Eisenberg, who brings a real vulnerability to the role, the expressions on his face really do make him look like a young man falling in love. The eighties period setting was done well, enhanced by a great soundtrack of eighties music (loved hearing one of my old, personal faves from the day "Don't Change" by INXS in the closing credits). Lots of other favorite songs too. Comedy elements are added by stars like "Freaks and Geeks" Martin Starr, as a geeky games worker, and Bill Hader, as the park manager. Great film. Rating - 9 to 9.5/10 stars

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