Adventureland

Jesse Eisenberg got his sexy on in this movie. How cute!

I think I’m one of the few girls who considers this guy a sex symbol, and it’s movies like Adventureland that exemplify my reasoning. The idea stems from the Seth Cohen appeal—the mumbling, bumbling intellectual who’s a good guy but also a horny dude, the one with morals branded into his conscience by his parents, dreams and aspirations up the wazoo, it’s all there in Seth Cohen. Jesse Eisenberg’s characters—and James in this particular movie—have all of those qualities, but they lack the ego that Seth Cohen gradually inflated for himself. They aren’t concerned with what other people like, which makes them not geeky but just unique. Eisenberg can really play a leading man for that reason, because while he can play the self-conscious guy, he’s far more appealing without that cloud hanging over his head. And by appealing, I mean hot.

This movie is a sweet, semi-predictable rom-com, but the ambiguity that each of the actors brings to it is remarkably believable. Kristen Stewart, as Emme, doesn’t know what she wants from James, or from whatever the hell Ryan Reynolds’ character’s name was. James doesn’t know what he wants from Emme or from Lisa J, the storybook hottie. And all the other characters are stuck at this theme park, wasting away their summers and getting high, trying to muster some strength to get out of their small town. Or not. I don’t necessarily think there was a point for them to get out. None of the characters had definite aspirations or plans or any of those things. That notion is believable, and that’s why I liked it.

In the end, James took a risk and moved to New York for Emme. But it wasn’t an incredibly triumphant journey; he did it because it was the next logical thing to do. A logical risk, if that makes any sense. And from that standpoint, the movie’s “turning point” was a lot more relatable than other get-the-girl happy endings I’ve seen. He wasn’t just moving for her, he was moving for himself because he’d been pigeonholed into a boring summer, and he decided to pursue the one good thing from that three-month period. (Who cares if that one good thing is Bella Swan?) It’s a nice, simple lesson we can all learn from.

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