Youth in Revolt movie review: At 16, Nick Twisp is wry about his teen funk: he lives in Oakland with his sex-addled mother; his father's child support is her meal ticket. While camping in Ukiah, Nick meets Sheeni: for him, it's love at first sight. Nick has to figure out how to get his father a job in Ukiah, then how to get sent to live with his father, then how to get close to Sheeni, whose religious parents may want her sent away from temptation to a boarding school. There's also Sheeni's all-American boyfriend to contend with. Overwhelmed by the challenges, Nick's about to give up when he conjures an alter ego who whispers revolt into his ear.
The buzz: Really, 21-year-old Cera (Juno, Superbad) is still playing awkward teens—and a 16-year-old one at that? At least the film, which is based on C.D. Payne's novel and whose release has been delayed several times, lets the actor add some creepiness into his usual lovable dweeb.
The verdict: Youth in Revolt is pretty hard to buy into but it's an enjoyable ride, mostly due to director Miguel Arteta's behind-the-beat rhythm and Cera's combination of crazy eyes and open heart. Nothing about Sheeni's character convinces, and by its end Youth in Revolt has flown off the tracks completely. In parts, though, it's a funny, diverting and a little too quirky film about the weird things we do for love.