Adventureland is an 80’s retro movie about a college kid working at a run down amusement park in Pittsburgh and finding true love.  Since I worked in a run down amusement park in the 80’s, this movie really spoke to me and pushed all my nostalgia buttons.

Our hero, James, is an overeducated, potential journalism grad that’s forced to take a job at an amusement park when his dad gets demoted and is unable to pay for his trip to Europe.  The carnies at the park are an assortment of oddballs and losers, including Matt Bush as James’ ex-best friend, Frigo.  (Frigo is fucking hilarious.)

The movie is slow, but steady, and mostly focuses on James growing love affair with another carnie named Emily.  Emily, played by Kristen Stewart, is a tortured girl full of angst, struggling with a dysfunctional home life and having an affair with an older married man, played by Ryan Reynolds.   The soundtrack is full of 80’s hit, the screen is awash in 80’s clothes, hair and style.  Director/writer Greg Mottola did his homework and I suspect probably worked along side of me on at least one shift of the Bumper Boats (at least in spirit anyway.)  Even characters like Reynolds pathetic, cheating Brad come off as fresh.  The Missus and my buddy thought the movie was a little slow, but I didn’t mind the pace because I felt I was learning more about the characters in every scene.  And when I wasn’t learning more about them, Bill Hader or Frigo did something funny.

I would put this movie on par with the recent, I Love You, Man, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the whole Judd Apatow crowd.  And no, Seth Rogen is not in this one.  I give Adventureland an admittedly biased 8 keggers out of 10.  Your mileage may vary slightly unless your also a geezer that worked the rides back when Husker Du was still cool.