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It was the worst job they ever imagined...and the best time of their lives.

Arriving with what prove to be outsized expectations for raucous humor on the basis of "Superbad," Greg Mottola's "Adventureland" unspools as a rather ordinary account of youthful summer misadventures that goes down easily thanks to a sparkly cast, more than 40 pop tunes that anchor the action in the late '80s and characters who get high both on and off their jobs at a tacky amusement park. Based on the experiences he had working at a Long Island amusement, Mottola cooks up a passable amount of mischief to occupy the late-teen/early-20s misfits who work as ride and game operators at Pittsburgh's Adventureland in the summer of '87. Writer-director's evident stand-in is James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg of "The Squid and the Whale"), who's forced to take any summer job he can get when his European trip is dashed and his autumn date with grad school at Columbia is jeopardized by his alcoholic father's fall from grace at work. For a Reagan-era pothead, James is a terribly serious, woefully earnest guy who offers up his SAT scores when applying for low-end summer positions. He also somehow has emerged from college still a virgin, but his saving grace as far as his Adventureland cohorts are concerned is that he's always has some weed. This makes the days go by easier, and also fuels the night, which the gawky James surprises himself by chastely spending with the alluring but massively screwed up Em (Kristen Stewart), who works at the park only as a way or getting away from her father and unbearable new stepmother.

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Directed by: 
Greg Mottola
Running Time: 
Kristen Stewart, Jese Eisenberg, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Martin Starr
Screenplay by: 
Greg Mottola

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