I know this won't surprise those of you who know me, but I occasionally have bad, immature taste. For instance, I like the hot dogs at QT. When I was working nights (No longer! Yeah!), if I needed gas on the way home, I would stop at QT and get 2 hot dogs. I mean, why stop at one? They're $1.29 for one, but 2 for $2. Getting only one would be such a waste. What's really in them, you ask? And how long have they been sitting there on the roller-cooker thing? I don't know. I enjoy them, and I haven't gotten sick yet.
Adventureland is a similar pleasure for me. It's about a bunch of mostly college age kids who work a summer job at a small amusement park, each of them hoping for something better in life. They smoke pot. They have few qualms about extra-marital sex. Their lives are pretty pointless. But it made for a funny movie nonetheless.
One big reason I liked it is the music. The movie, set in 1987, the year I graduated from high school, has a soundtrack full of old favorites as well as some music I nostalgically despise. I think I would share their reaction to hearing "Rock Me Amadeus" 20 times a day, but I enjoyed hearing from The Cure, David Bowie, Rush and others. Besides the music, the film picks up on the clothes, catch phrases, and video games, taking me back to high school.
There are some pretty funny lines. I liked Joel, the "intellectual" of the group. A little socially inept with girls, he and Sue, one of the park hotties, go out with James and Arlene, the couple whose relationship I so eloquently described above. Sue asks about his major. "Russian literature and slavic languages," he says. She asks, "What career track is that?" "Cabby, hot dog vendor, marijuana delivery guy. The world is my oyster." Later they get a little drunk and end up making out. Not believing her poor taste, she says, "I'm so surprised I'm making out with you." "Me too," he responds, not believing his luck. When they next meet, she tells him her parents have forbidden her from seeing him, because he's Jewish and she's Catholic. He protests, "But I'm an atheist! I mean more of a pragmatic nihilist, I guess, or an existential pagan, if you will!"
So I admit, this certainly isn't the most wholesome movie I have seen; like a QT hot dog, there's plenty to enjoy, but it has a lot of filler that's questionable. But, unlike many teen comedies, it does not rely on lots of bathroom humor or sight gags for laughs. In spite of its thematic and plot problems, the humor in Adventureland makes for a pretty good show.
Bottom line, 2 stars.