Well, I have to say that Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman have done it again. Still didn't top Juno but this was a close second.
Charlize Theron's character, Mavis, was one of those that was so painful to watch but you couldn't look away. She is such a terrible person but oddly enough it works for her. She drinks too much, has practically no friends, and is still in love with her high school boyfriend after like 17 years of not being with him. Not to mention Mavis eventually married and then divorced.
I think the introduction to Mavis was one of the best I have ever seen. There is nothing like seeing a "successful" author watching reality shows to fall asleep, chugging Diet Coke first thing in the morning, and playing Wii Fit while her dog barks and is ignored at the back door. Like I said, it is so painful yet you can't look away. I found myself saying, "how depressing and embarrassing" about 20 times throughout the course of the whole film.
The character development left a little to be desired when it came to other characters, specifically Buddy. Buddy being Mavis' ex-boyfriend whom she returns to her hometown to win back despite the fact that he is married with a newborn daughter. I think Buddy was left a little open. He is portrayed as a nice guy who still has minor feelings for Mavis but then says his kindness is fueled only by his wife, Beth. Mavis then revolts against both Buddy and Beth at a ceremony for their daughter in front of the whole party. She reveals Buddy got her pregnant 17 years prior and she miscarried. It makes you feel, as a viewer, that she is just jealous of what Beth has with him because it could have been her.
Mavis also encounters an old classmate, Matt, who was brutally beaten by jocks in high school and was left permanently crippled. He tries to tell Mavis she is doing the wrong thing but she instead uses Matt as a drinking buddy and uses his disability to make herself feel like she is the one who is moving on with life instead of being stuck in the same place hating on people who hurt her. Matt wasn't terribly underdeveloped but they could have given him a little bit more. He was just a typical forgotten high school student who has remained ignored ever since.
Overall I thought the script was the high point. Diablo Cody gave her typical elements of dark humor but it wasn't as sarcastic as its been in the past. That is what I loved. It was a nice change and she is proving why she won an Oscar. Charlize Theron gave a fantastic performance, though. You cannot count her out in this equation. To me, she did a good job of showing how exhausting it is to be such a bitch all the time. You could see it in her physical appearance. She played a delusional woman quite well, too.
The only problem I had and my boyfriend felt the same way... the product placement was ridiculous. We see at exhaustion: Chili's, KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Diet Coke, Mini Cooper, Hampton Inn, Macy's, Blackberry, and Apple. It was ridiculous and I feel like I paid to see one big commercial. I was surprised not to see a Target given the film was set in Minnesota. There is a Target on every corner in that state.
But yeah, I recommend this one. It is a bit sad but it's true because we all know people like Mavis. 8/10
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