The Vores give Adventureland two thumbs up!
BEN: There were about five things going for this movie right out of the gate. One: It’s set in western Pennsylvania. Two: It was filmed at Kennywood, Pittsburgh’s premiere amusement park attraction. Three: It stars Jesse Eisenberg, whose character James is a close relative of the character Eisenberg played in the exceptional The Squid & The Whale. Four: Yo La Tengo did the score. Five: The vintage 80s soundtrack includes The Velvet Underground, The Cure, The Rolling Stones, Big Star, Hüsker Dü and David Bowie.
ERIN: I would add one more item to that list: The comedic duo of Bill Heder and Kristen Wiig, the husband-and-wife team running Adventureland. My favorite scene involved the two of them making prize bananas with googly eyes and an eye patch.
BEN: When I saw them in the trailer I’ll admit that I expected the movie to be more slapstick, especially since it was directed by Greg Mottola, whose last film was Superbad.
ERIN: It certainly wasn’t raunchy like Superbad.
BEN: It wasn’t. What it was is exactly the kind of dry, bittersweet, coming-of-age summer love story that I’m a sucker for.
ERIN: You are a sucker for those.
BEN: Being somewhat a child of the late 80s, do you think perhaps I am the target audience and that my estimation of the film could be inflated?
ERIN: You’re really more a child of the early 90s, but I do not think Adventureland’s charms are exclusive to your particular demographic.
BEN: Speaking of Superbad, do you think Eisenberg’s character James was separated at birth from Michael Cera?
ERIN: Yes, but he was more like the “Arrested Development”/George Michael Michael Cera than the Superbad/Evan Michael Cera.
BEN: He also had a slightly more intellectual bent. I mean, he did have a bachelor’s degree in comparative lit with a Renaissance-studies minor.
ERIN: His character kind of reminded me of you.
BEN: Wait, is that a good thing?
ERIN: Yeah. You should take it as a compliment.
BEN: Seeing him made me keep comparing this film to The Squid & The Whale.
ERIN: Which one comes out on top?
BEN: Well, they’re very different films. Adventureland was more light-hearted. It had a gentler ending.
ERIN: The ending was perfect.
BEN: Let’s not reveal it here so as not to spoil it.
BEN: The Squid & The Whale was darker and far less of a crowd-pleaser, although I think it had a perfect ending too.
ERIN: It was more provocative. But Adventureland was perfect for a vacation movie. I loved it.
BEN: I expect we’ll be seeing it in the Vore DVD library sometime before the end of the year.
ERIN: I expect we will. Speaking of vacations, isn’t Katie Stratman the perfect host?
BEN: She is a host par excellence. Although I have eaten about thirty-two of her famous cookies since we arrived.
ERIN: That’s like a cookie an hour.
BEN: She also paid for our movie tickets!
ERIN: That she did.
BEN: Can you think of any reason not to want to come to Denver and stay with Katie Stratman?
ERIN: I have thought long and hard on this, and the conclusion I have reached is “No.”
ERIN: Highs and lows of the trip so far?
BEN: Two words: Tattered. Cover.
ERIN: I’ve gotta go with brunch at Lucile’s Creole Cafe.
BEN: I never thought I would say this, but I would kill somebody in cold blood to get more of those biscuits.
BEN: Aside from that two-year-old on the plane?
ERIN: Oh yeah. Say no more.