Monday, August 23, 2010


This movie has been praised and vilified. And a case can be made for both points of view. But seeing it last night with my twelve-year-old was totally worth the trip. He loved it. I liked it a lot.

It's true that the fight sequences, rendered in comic-book (ala the original TV Batman series) style can be a little tedious and slow down the underlying indie-romantic-comedy aspects of any film starring Michael Cera. But the overall arc of the story works for what is basically a framework for observations about late-teens-early-twenties dramedy. Which worked for me well enough to give me several laugh-out-loud moments.

My not-so-little-anymore guy found it "sweet" and funny and totally engaging. I found it pretty sweet too, and no matter how many times Michael Cera plays this role—the appealing geek—he pulls it off with such elan it continues to work for me.

The special effects are as cartoony as you'd expect a movie made from a graphic novel to be (the best comparison is with one of my all time favorite flicks, AMERICAN SPLENDOR) but there's enough good acting ( with Ellen Wong as "Knives Chau" and Alison Pill as "Kim Pine"—the former overplaying and the latter underplaying—along with Aubrey Plaza as "Julie Powers" doing a combination of both(!) almost stealing the show) and good one-liner writing to keep the sight gags supported and give them some resonance.

Not a bad diversion for a late summer's evening, though maybe seeing it with a twelve-year-old helps.

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