Larry’s review published on Letterboxd:
It find it scary how much I can relate to Adventureland. Its not THAT great of a movie, but it fills me with such a swelling nostalgic feeling that reminds me so much of my teen years that its extremely hard to not smile while watching this movie. I actually worked very briefly at an amusement park with my brother in my (very) early teens. I worked a lot of random summer jobs; pizza parlors, retail stores, firework stands, flea markets, and stuff like that. I knew the feeling of late summer nights, hearing the same songs over and over again, and making new friends very very well. This film makes me feel those old feelings and more.
The movie follows Jesse Eisenberg as James Brennen, an over qualified High School grad who has to take a summer job at an amusement park when his original summer plans don't come to fruition. He makes new friends, new loves, and new nobodies that lazily operate the games and rides. The movie takes place in 1987 and the vintage look of the amusement park and the 80's synth-pop that blares over the speakers does a good job of taking you back for a bit. You can almost smell the hotdogs and nachos in the air when you watch it. The movie has an amazingly real sense of nostalgia that will bring you back to the young naivety of cool summer nights. It's a great hangout movie despite some if its idiotic plot points and inconsistent humor. It's a great coming of age story underneath and is just as funny as it is real.
The cast is good (even Kristen "Stonewall" Stewart is passable) and varied. Eisenberg is the usual fast talking lovable goofball, Ryan Reynolds is the cool guy with a mysterious side, Kristen Wigg and Bill Hader make amusing appearances, but the most entertaining was Martin Starr personally. He pretty much channels his character Roman from Party Down perfectly and if you've seen the show, you will appreciate his dorky "hard sci-fi" character even more. If you haven't seen that show, I strongly suggest it.
Stewart, Eisenberg and Greg Mottola may turn off some people, but if you wanna get transported back to those confusing teen years via a movie you haven't already seen, you could do much worse that Adventureland.