Review: Youth in Revolt

Updated: Mar 30


Director: Miguel Arteta

Writers: Gustin Nash (screenplay), C.D. Payne (novel)

Genre: Comedy

Cast: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Steve Buscemi, Zach Galifianakis, Ray Liotta

Release year: 2009

Runtime: 90 min


After the snore-fest that was The Good Girl, director Miguel Arteta makes an impressive recovery. Adapted from the novel by American absurdist writer C.D. Payne, Youth in Revolt is an off-beat teen fantasy comedy featuring Juno actor Michael Cera.


Nick Twisp (Cera) is a geeky and hormonal teen whose idea of fun is Frank Sinatra on vinyl and a good wank. His unseemly mother played by Jean Smart seems more concerned with her sex life than her son’s wellbeing. After selling a faulty car to some sailors who want their money back, his current stepfather played by Zach Galifianakis decides to take his new family on a vacation to a trailer park in Ukiah.


There Nick meets Sheeni (Portia Doubleday) by whom he is immediately smitten. But her religious parents, his wayward parents, and her all-American boyfriend are not about to make it easy for him. He sets about creating an alter ego who goes by the name Francois Dillinger. Dillinger is constantly inspiring Twisp to commit wild and outrageous acts in order to win Sheeni’s love.


This is not your average teen film. It might be lost on the Twilight generation, but that might be a good thing. Its unsaturated absurdity, strange diction, and awkward moments are what make it good. In spite of its dry humor, the film is still filled with tons of lol moments. A definite gem in the indie arsenal.



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