Despite the humorous trailers and the "From the director of Superbad" tag, Adventureland is not an Apatow-esque comedy. In fact, Judd Apatow had absolutely nothing to do with this movie. And in many ways, Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig's interludes not withstanding, comedy has very little to do with this movie. While the non-SNL-related situations in Adventureland may at times veer into the realm of comedy, they just as quickly veer out, and get very sad. Not sad as in pathetic -- I mean sad as in depressing. Adventureland is a bleak indie film disguised as a teen sex romp, and while the joke may be on the people who come to the theater looking for a good time, the last laugh may go to people like me, who go in with low expectations and are pleasantly surprised by the movie's depths.
And, apparently, I'm not the only one. A colleague informed me as we entered the theater of the movie's "positive buzz." I was surprised, as I had not heard the scuttlebutt -- it looked like a decent period teen comedy to me, that's all. I expected Superbad: The '80s Edition, but instead I got The United States of AdventureLeland, or possibly Donnie Darkocoaster. Not bad things in my mind -- at all. I would totally ride the Darkocoaster until I threw up, with "Mad World" playing in my head all the while. But the fact remains that the Hader-heavy commercials had given me no idea what I was walking into.
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