Director: Miguel Arteta Release Date: 05/02/10 Link: IMDB If you were to hire a high-profile lawyer, you could probably come up with a convincing false advertising claim against the people who put together the trailers for Youth in Revolt. By the way the material is presented in the previews, I wouldn't blame you for coming to the conclusion that Youth in Revolt is going to be a slapstick raunch-fest that delivers multiple laughs per minute. Truth be told, as I walked into the theater, I was expecting to see something in the same vein as the extremely hilarious Superbad. (I have never read C.D. Payne's literary work for which the film is based, so I had no idea of what I was about to witness.) There are a number of laughs be had in Youth in Revolt and the subject matter can get rather lewd and lascivious. (We are talking about a narrative that centers around a high schooler desperately trying to lose his virginity.) But the film's marketing tactics don't tell the entire story. Instead, Youth in Revolt should be classified as a genuine and smart coming-of-age tale that is more concerned with realistically portraying teen angst and the frustrations of young love than constantly attempting to tickle your funny bone. (Kind of like last year's Adventureland.) This may make director Miguel Arteta's movie sound a bit commonplace because it's no secret this particular genre has been done to death. But Youth in Revolt is catapulted from the depths of banality by the imaginative direction of Arteta, its entertainingly bizarre cast of characters, its clever dialogue and the palpable chemistry between its two leads: Michael Cera (“Juno” and “Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist”) and relative newcomer Portia Doubleday. Cera plays Nick Twisp, a somewhat sophisticated 16-year-old with a penchant for Sinatra and Fellini who falls head over heels for the carefree Sheeni Saunders (Doubleday) while on a family vacation at a trailer park. But when the summer is over and Nick is forced to go back home with his mother (Jean Smart) and her deadbeat boyfriend (Zack Galifianakis of “The Hangover”), his relationship with Sheeni is put in jeopardy. Knowing the only way to be with his soul mate is to get kicked out of his mother's house and move in with his father (Steve Buscemi), Nick creates a chain-smoking, mustache-wearing supplementary persona named Francois Dillinger (also played by Cera), who says and does all the things that Nick is too afraid to say and do. He basically resembles the devil that sits on your shoulder and whispers mischievous thoughts into your ear, only there's not an angel on the other side to even things out. Now if I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times, and I've even been guilty of saying it myself: Cera is certainly a talented and humorous actor, but it seems like he always plays the same shy, self-conscious and sarcastic character in all of his movies. While it's true Nick Twisp also fits that description, Francois Dillinger gives Cera a chance to show some range, and it's nice to see the Canadian-born actor could easily pull it off. By far the film's strongest comedic moments are when the straightforward and brash Francois makes an appearance, it's just a shame it doesn't happen all that often. (I think this is where the previews are the most misleading.) There's also not enough I can say about the performance from Doubleday, who's only appeared in two other movies in her short acting career. There are times when you see a new face on the screen and you can just tell they are going to have a long and successful stint in Hollywood. The radiant Doubleday is one of those people. And when you put Cera and Doubleday together, you get a relationship that feels authentic and is easy to root for, and by the climax of the film you desperately want to see the two lovebirds end up in each others arms. However, what does that say about the state of romantic comedies when a relationship between two teenagers is more believable than 90 percent of the love affairs that appear in the genre? While the romance at the core of Youth in Revolt is honest and convincing, that's about the only thing that doesn't come off as absurdly abnormal. But that is what helps set Youth in Revolt apart from the handful of other films that share similar themes. Cera and Doubleday have an ample amount of amusing lines, but the movie really gets its peculiar flavour from its secondary characters, which include Fred Willard as Nick's neighbor who harbors illegal immigrants, Justin Long as Sheeni's drug-loving brother, Ray Liotta as a police officer who also dates Nick's mother and M. Emmet Walsh and Mary K. Place as Sheeni's religion-obsessed parents. (Some of their actions are so off-the-wall you won't be able to help but snicker.) With all of these distinct characters and all of the multiple story lines, “Youth in Revolt,” could have easily buckled under all this weight, but Arteta (The Good Girl) is able to tie everything together in such a way that the film is rarely disjointed or unfocused. (Arteta also gives his movie a cool look by using animation in some of the scenes.) But when it was all over, I just couldn't shake the notion that Youth in Revolt should have been abundantly more comical. Then again, that might be a problem with the source material and not the film. Maybe C.D. Payne didn't have a sole purpose in mind of making his readers laugh until they cry. But if that really is the case, I lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of the people who picked the segments for the film's trailers. Rating: 7/10