Synopsis: A comedy set in the summer of 1987 and centered around a recent college grad (Jesse Eisenberg) who takes a nowhere job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.
I think the biggest problem with this film is right there in that synopsis above and also on the poster... "a comedy" and "from the directors of Superbad." These things led me to think it was going to be in the same vein as Superbad, and well, also that it was a comedy, which it's not. It's really a romantic drama. There are some quirky characters in it and some funny moments, but it's a coming of age movie really that's a pretty realistic depiction of teen romance.
The actors they have assembled are impressive and many small roles attempt to steal the show form the fantastic performances of Kristen Stewart (Twilight) and Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland), who both come across and very real and likeable people. Throw in great performances by Bill Hader, Ryan Reynolds and many others and I tip my hat to the casting director.
Another fun bit, for me at least, is the whole nostalgia of the late 80s. Lots of great songs by bands like Judas Priest, Falco, Whitesnake, The Outfield, The Cure and Crowded House kept me smiling and remembering my own experiences, although not spent working in an amusement park, which were just as awkward at times. I think I knew somebody like a lot of the characters here too, as did everybody probably, and that's part of the appeal. I kept thinking I was watching a modern-day John Hughes movie.
It's as sweet as Superbad is raunchy, so don't be expecting as much slapstick and toilet humor, although there is a bit (hey, I said it's a realistic teen movie). It's a good little touching and honest feeling film with it's share of laughs. Sure the story is a bit cliche and worn, but it's the way it's delivered that makes it worth a watch.