Artsweek

Movies to See in Isla Vista and Beyond: “Young Adult” and the Highly Anticipated “Project X” Bring the Crazy

Yes, it’s cold out. But this is not a reason to stay at home. To take a well deserved break from your studies, you should venture from your cozy apartment and see two films that will set the tone for your weekend: “Young Adult” and “Project X.”

Magic Lantern is showing Jason Reitman’s brilliant “Young Adult” tomorrow at IV Theater at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. as well as on Monday, March 5 at 10 p.m.

The film portrays Mavis, a thirty-something, divorcee ghost writer of a teenage novel series. Growing up in small town Mercury, Minnesota, she escaped to the big city, leaving her high school boyfriend behind. When she realizes that her ex has settled into grown-up life as a family man, Mavis hatches a scheme to return to Mercury and re-conquer the one that got away. Granted, he is happily married, and recently became a father. But this will not stop Mavis.

Completely deluded, Mavis is a character you would usually love to hate. Yes, you know who I’m talking about: that ‘‘psychotic prom queen bitch’’ who terrorized everyone. The one who, much to your pleasure, did not get her own happily ever after. But in “Young Adult,” you actually identify with her as she tries to rekindle the flame with the love of her life, who is simply not interested.

Mavis can definitely be classified as a bitch, but she is only human after all, and in the end, is forgivable and sympathetic.

Charlize Theron’s performance is so sincere that it is impossible to not feel for her. This somewhat poetic character and beautiful interpretation landed her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. The whole cast is in fact meticulously picked. This is especially the case for Patton Oswalt, who received a Virtuoso Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for his portrayal of Matt. He’s the kid that spent high school getting beaten up by jocks and fawning over Mavis, while Mavis barely remembers him. But when she comes back, the two meet coincidentally and he proves to be a good friend — in fact her only friend.

After the success of her first screenplay, “Juno,” Diablo Cody keeps surprising us with her witty writing, funny dialogues and truthful situations. You may laugh throughout the film, but the film taps into something deeper.

Sadly, the film was totally absent from the Oscars nominees when it could have received a nod in both Best Actress and Best Screenplay. However, the film received overall good reviews, scoring 82 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

But you shouldn’t just listen to us critics. You should forge your own opinion by going to see the movie and guessing which person in your circle of friends is most likely to become as crazy as Mavis.

Tomorrow is also the release of the highly anticipated “Project X.”

You have probably all woken up at least once with a really bad headache. Why? Well, living in I.V. is a pretty good explanation, but I’m pretty sure that those DP nights are nothing — yes, nothing — compared to what you are about to see in “Project X.”

Three high school nobodies decide to throw an epic party in order to become party legends. They want it to be big, and naturally, things get out of hand.

Filmed as a homemade documentary, it adopts a first person point of view, the one of whoever is filming. This comes from the cinéma vérité style that has largely influenced the production process.

The other element that makes it totally believable as a filmed journal is the fact that none of the actors are professionals. These kids are all first time actors. This takes away all filmic connotations that a star would have imposed by his or her mere presence. So as you’re watching, you can only think: “Wow, this could be real.” Adopting a typical Hollywood narrative construction as a background, “Project X” benefited from a loose script that enabled the actors to get as crazy as they were capable of.

Explicitly funny, each situation gets more out there until and the party ultimately heads down the road of disaster.

You think setting fire to a couch is insane? Wait until you see what happens when a flamethrower gets into the wrong hands.

This teenage version of “The Hangover” gone out of control is a fun experience that you should definitely see with your friends. Just don’t try any of these things at home!

That being said, have a great weekend, Gauchos.

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