Jason Reitman - son of Ghostbusters helmer Ivan- is well-renowned for delivering "smart" character studies, be they the satirical Thank You for Smoking or dramedy Up in the Air. The director recently reunited with his breakout hit Juno scriber (Diablo Cody, who won an Oscar for her efforts) on yet another character piece: this winter's Young Adult.
Another Academy Award-winner, in the form of Charlize Theron, plays the lead in Young Adult - and going off film's new trailer, Cody and Reitman won't be pulling any punches as far as using their leading lady for darkly awkward comedy and drama.
Young Adult is based on Cody's original screenplay about Mavis Gary (Theron), a teen literature author who experiences somewhat of a meltdown following her divorce. She thereafter decides to return to her small home town in Minnesota, in the hopes of both reliving her glory days and reuniting with her high school sweetheart, Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson). The problem - as one of Mavis' former classmates (Patton Oswalt) points out - is that Buddy is not only married, but even has kids now.
With that in mind, check out the Young Adult trailer (via iTunes Movie Trailers) below:
Theron appears to do a good job in Young Adult of playing Mavis in a more understated fashion. That is a relief, seeing how a whiskey-sipping, former high school "popular girl" who's suffered a semi-psychotic breakdown and is genuinely determined to seduce a married man (or, rather, a "Queen B***h" as the David Bowie song in this trailer puts it) is exactly the sort of role that could easily be used an an excuse for an actress to chew the scenery like nothing else.
Young Adult likewise appears to be quite unapologetic about playing its protagonist's behavior and delusions for uncomfortable laughs. The decision to cast stars like Oswalt - who can actually handle both awkward comedy and drama (see: his performance in Big Fan) - and Wilson as the ordinary handsome type, seems all the wiser, since both are well-fitted for their respective roles here.
One last thing - it's nice to see that Cody seemingly won't go overboard with her trademark "hip" dialogue in Young Adult, seeing how the idea of grown adults talking like the teens in Juno or Jennifer's Body would probably seem all the more ridiculous and forced than... well, than it did in either of those two films.
Young Adult begins a limited theatrical release in the U.S. on December 9th, 2011. It will expand wider a week later, on the 16th.