Jesse Eisenberg, who resembles Michael Cera, only more bulky, less spaced out, plays curly-haired James, a gawky, uptight teenager in Greg Mottola's exquisitely paced and extremely droll coming-of-age drama set in the mid-1980s.
James, a recent college graduate, is forced to take a minimum wage job after his recently demoted father can no longer subsidise his summer jaunt to Europe. So he plumps for work at a shabby amusement park – run by an overly committed couple (Wendie Malick and the excellent Jack Gilpin) – where the majority of the fish prizes have pegged it, the hot dogs are rancid and the sound system pumps out Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus" 20 times a day. However, on the upside, James fortuitously bonds with the fragrant Kristen Stewart (of Twilight fame and an actress who bears an uncanny resemblance to the Eighties star Mary Stuart Masterson; similar delivery and mannerisms), makes friends with cerebral ("a pragmatic nihilist"), pipe-smoking Joel (Martin Starr) and gets to, well, come of age.
Mottola's charming film harks back to gentle Eighties teen comedies such as Some Kind of Wonderful and The Flamingo Kid and benefits hugely from convincing performances (particularly Stewart's), a sensational soundtrack (including Lou Reed's "Pale Blue Eyes", The Cure's "Just Like Heaven" and "So It Goes" by Nick Lowe) and some terrific lines.Reuse content