Charlize Theron is one of the most stunning women in the world. But she can set aside that beauty in the furthering of her art. She makes just such a transformation in YOUNG ADULT. Oh sure, she is beautiful in the movie. A beautiful mess. The movie's title refers to her job, she's the writer of Young Adult novels. It also refers to her level of maturity. Her character is mentally still a young adult. She has convinced herself that she can win back her high school love (convincingly played by Patrick Wilson). She goes home trying to fulfill her fantasy, just like the heroines of her novels might. Theron's Mavis Gary gets drunk as a matter of habit and meets the high school geek she ignored (the wonderful Patton Oswalt). They get drunk together and share miseries together. Mavis is living a fantasy that eventually gets busted. Diablo Cody's screenplay is funny and poignant, filled with subtle and not so subtle jabs at beauty and self flagellation. Jason Reitman brings just the right touch and once again proves he should be the “go to” director for comedy. But without the fabulous Theron, this movie would go nowhere. It relies heavily on the lead, and Theron is more than up to the task. I may also be living a fantasy here, but I see nominations for Theron and Cody when awards time rolls around. — Alan Yudman

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