So I read Adventureland…
I saw Adventureland in the theater, and I really liked it. I walked out basically thinking that it had a great tone, with a wonderful element of nostalgia.
Reading the script really highlighted more great elements to this film, like the incredibly ubiquitous use of music. The story line for Connell, the mythical, mysterious, super-cool older guy played by Ryan Reynolds is interesting. His allure is bolstered by the fact that he “once jammed with Neil Young in The City.” We see him shred it up on the guitar in the local bar where cover bands for real bands like Van Halen are constantly featured. The amusement park in which they live constantly play the big hits of the day, including a ridiculously repetitive use of “Amadeus,” which kind of cracked me up.
The other thing that struck me was the love/hate that Greg Mottola has for Long Island, which I also share — he was born in Dix Hills, I lived in Farmingville from age 12-17. Actually, he probably loves it more than I do haha. Nonetheless, this script will come in handy for me, because I am going to be writing a script this fall loosely based on my high school years in the middle of Long Island. Honestly, I have a few good memories of being a kid in high school but there were a lot of things I absolutely hated about living there: specifically the attitude of “the newly monied” combined with the general attitudes of New Yorkers who had to flee The City, as it was lovingly/fearfully known.
Anyway, Adventureland was one of the few times I really liked Kristen Stewart, and it felt like the role of Em was written for her. The quiet cool, the slow burning rage within the context of her life, all with the feeling of being at an odd crossroads, where you don’t quite know what you want from life — it made for a great character. I also like Jesse Eisenberg, who gives this character an interesting take. Reading this script, you see that James was written a little bit less neurotic than the way Eisenberg plays it, but he still gives an enjoyable performance. Their relationship is wonderfully complex, and completely relatable. The more intimate scenes between Em and James, as well as another one (which I won’t spoil) are both pretty fantastic, but still real and simple.
Anyway, I recommend a read on this. Adventureland is funny, sweet, and really, seriously, relatable.
Posted on July 17, 2011, in Analysis of Scripts of the Last Decade, Quarter 3: Summer 2011 and tagged adventureland, comedy, long island, music, romance, screenplay, script, summer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.