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Adventureland Theatrical release poster Directed by Greg Mottola Produced by Sidney Kimmel Anne Carey Ted Hope Written by Greg Mottola Starring Jesse Eisenberg Kristen Stewart Ryan Reynolds Martin Starr Bill Hader Kristen Wiig Music by Yo La Tengo Cinematography Terry Stacey Editing by Anne McCabe Distributed by Miramax Films Release date(s) April 3, 2009 (2009-04-03) Running time 95 minutes Country United States Language English Box office $17,164,377 Adventureland is a 2009 comedy-drama film written and directed by Greg Mottola. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Margarita Levieva, Ryan Reynolds, Martin Starr, Bill Hader, and Kristen Wiig. Contents 1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production 4 Release 4.1 Critical response 4.2 Box office 4.3 Awards and nominations 4.4 Home media 5 Soundtrack 6 References 7 External links Plot It is the summer of 1987 and James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), a virgin because he will only have sex with someone he loves, has just graduated with a degree in comparative literature from Oberlin College. He is looking forward to touring Europe for the summer and going to Columbia University for graduate school in journalism when his parents (Wendie Malick and Jack Gilpin) announce they won't be able to help him financially. James searches for a summer job, but can only find an unappealing one at Adventureland, a local amusement park in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where his immature childhood friend Tommy Frigo (Matt Bush) works. James is hired by assistant manager Bobby (Bill Hader) and is assigned to the games area. He meets his co-workers: the sarcastic Joel (Martin Starr), Bobby's wife and park manager Paulette (Kristen Wiig), Sue O'Malley (Paige Howard), Mark (Mark Miller), the alluring Lisa P. (Margarita Levieva) whom every guy wants, along with the park's technician Mike Connell (Ryan Reynolds), a part-time musician who claims to have once jammed with Lou Reed. Another games worker, Emily "Em" Lewin (Kristen Stewart), meets James by saving him from being stabbed by a disgruntled customer. While her father and stepmother are away, Em has a party where she and James get to know each other. After the party, Connell, who has been having an affair with Em, comes over. Later that week, James goes for a drink with Em and she is surprised to learn James is still a virgin. Connell arrives at the bar with his wife. After leaving, James and Em share their first kiss. The following day, James tells Connell about his strong feelings for Em, which Connell reports to her. Em later tells James that she wants to take things slow due to problems in her life, leaving James feeling confused and upset. Joel is rejected by Sue after a drunken night of making out due to religious differences (she is Catholic and he is Jewish). Em, sticking up for Joel, confronts Sue. Lisa P. asks James out on a date, but he has mixed feelings because of his relationship with Em. After Connell talks him into going, presumably to sabotage James' relationship with Em, he decides to accept her offer. After the date, during which Lisa and James kiss, James learns Em had called to tell him that she regrets having rejected his feelings. James gives Em some of his marijuana to bake pot cookies to cheer her up. Joel later sees James and Em walking together and, disturbed by the whole chain of events, decides to quit. James tries to talk him out of quitting, but Joel has had enough of everything, including what he perceives as the indignity of working at Adventureland. He also tells James he is angry at him for dating Lisa P. when he already loves Em. James wants to be honest and tells Em about going out with Lisa P. After hearing of this, Em goes to Connell's to end their affair. Prompted by Frigo, the park's mentally challenged parking official tells James he saw Em and Connell doing "push-ups without any pants on" in the back of Connell's car. James goes to Connell's mother's house, which is where Lisa P. told him that Connell takes girls to have sex, with Frigo and sees Em leaving. Shocked to see James, she becomes tongue-tied and cannot explain. James leaves angrily, leaving a crying Em by herself. James tells Lisa P. about the affair and asks her not to tell anyone, but not long after she tells her friend Kelly. Upon noticing all the park employees know, Em quits. James chastises Lisa P. for dismissing Em as a "homewrecker" while she sees Connell as blameless. James, heartbroken, drunkenly crashes his dad's car into a tree and passes out. The next morning, his mother wakes him up and tells him that he has to pay to fix all the damage. Because he must pay for the car, James doesn't have enough money to go to graduate school. Despite his setbacks, he heads for New York City with his parents blessing as they finally decide that it's time to let James do what is best for him. In New York, James waits outside Em's apartment. When she sees him she is reluctant to talk to him, feeling she has ruined everything. James tells her that he sees her differently than she sees herself, making it clear that he has fallen in love with her. Touched, Em brings James up to her apartment. James gets out of his wet clothes and finds she still has an Adventureland shirt. They kiss and begin to take their clothes off. James asks, "Are we really doing this?", and Em says yes; James presumably loses his virginity. Cast Jesse Eisenberg as James Brennan, a recent college graduate who majored in Comparative Literature and Renaissance Studies. He is an aspiring journalist who has to get a summer job so he can afford to go to Columbia University in New York. The only job he can get is in the games at the Adventureland theme park. He is a virgin and occasional marijuana smoker. Throughout his summer working in Adventureland, Brennan develops a relationship with his co-worker, Emily "Em" Lewin. Kristen Stewart as Emily "Em" Lewin, one of James' Adventureland co-workers and love interest. She has a troubled home life, she hates her stepmother and resents her father for remarrying so soon after her mother's death from cancer. She is a student at NYU but her father is a rich lawyer and she works games in Adventureland even though she doesn't need to, mostly as a reason to get out of the house. She is secretly having an affair with the park's maintenance man, Mike Connell, but eventually calls it off, and quits Adventureland after her affair becomes public knowledge. Ryan Reynolds as Mike Connell, the park's maintenance man, married to a woman named Ronnie. He is also a part time musician who claims to have played a gig with Lou Reed. Through slips in his musical knowledge, it becomes apparent to James that this is not true. He has cheated on his wife with different girls and, by the beginning of the story, with Em. Martin Starr as Joel, one of James' co-workers at the games in Adventureland and James' friend in the summer. A college graduate in Russian literature and Slavic languages, a degree which he claims will get him a job as a "cabbie, hot dog vendor," or "marijuana delivery guy." He eventually quits the park after being attacked by a disgruntled customer and leaves Pittsburgh to head for an undisclosed location. Enjoys smoking a pipe, although he calls it a "revolting affectation." Matt Bush as Tommy Frigo, James' childhood best friend; though they aren't good friends any more, James still manages to tolerate Frigo's immaturity and cruelty. Frigo constantly teases James and hits him in the testicles and even goes so far as to blackmail James about his date with Lisa P. At the end of the film, James hits Frigo in the testicles first for once, before heading off to New York, finally getting his revenge. Margarita Levieva as Lisa P., one of the rides operators at the Adventureland park. A seductive girl to whom all the park's employees are attracted. Her father was injured and is now unable to work, and she bonds with James after he shows some sympathy for her. She invites James out on a date, but he leaves her to go back with Em. She eventually tells her friends at the park that Em is having an affair with Connell, a secret she told James she would not reveal. Bill Hader as Bobby, the eccentric assistant manager of Adventureland. He is extremely intolerant of people who litter but is very supportive of his employees and caring for his wife. Kristen Wiig as Paulette, Bobby's wife and manager of Adventureland. She is often as eccentric as her husband but is much more quiet. Mary Birdsong as Francy, Em's stepmother. She married Em's father shortly after the death of Em's mother. After her first divorce she lost her hair from the stress of a nervous breakdown and wears a wig. Em says that if she were not a "status-obsessed witch", she might feel bad for her. Josh Pais as Mr. Lewin, Em's father and Francy's husband. He met Francy at temple while his first wife was slowly dying in the hospital. He married Francy, soon after Em's mother died. Jack Gilpin as Mr. Brennan, James' father. He loses his job and transferred to a different office. He is an alcoholic but tries to hide his drinking from his family. James finds a bottle of scotch underneath his dad's car seat, and he drinks the bottle while driving and crashes into his neighbor's tree. He doesn't tell his mother that the bottle belonged to his father. Wendie Malick as Mrs. Brennan, James' mother. She is the one that lets James know they can't help them pay for his trip or graduate school. She supplies the discipline of the two parents.(For example she made him pay for the damage to his Dad's car.) However at the end of the film she decides to let James go off to New York City. Production Adventureland was filmed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from December 2007 to January 2008, with most scenes shot in Kennywood, a historic amusement park in nearby West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.[1] The theme park from the film is based on the Farmingdale, New York amusement park Adventureland where Mottola once worked in the 1980s. Other scenes were shot in Beaver County and the airport area around the Pennsylvania area (such as the Stardust Lounge in Moon Township). The story takes place during the summer, but since it was shot in the winter months in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, crews had to often hide snowfall. In some instances, during indoor takes, extras were paid to stand outside surrounding the windows and doors to block the snow falling behind the actors. Release The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival[2] and went on general release April 3, 2009. Critical response Adventureland opened to largely positive reviews with an 89% based on 194 reviews and considered "Certified Fresh" on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.[3] Metacritic gave the film an aggregate rating of 76 based on 34 select critics.[4] Box office In its first week at the box office, Adventureland opened moderately wide in only 1,862 screens grossing $5.7 million ranking #6 at the box office. Despite opening up in fourteen more screens in its second week Adventureland only took in $3.4 million, falling to #9 at the box office. The film concluded its U.S. domestic run on May 28, 2009 with a gross of $16,044,025 and a total international gross of $17,133,754[5][6] Awards and nominations The film was nominated for the Gotham Independent Film Awards "Best Ensemble Cast", scheduled in New York City on November 30, 2009.[7] Adventureland was the winner of High Times Magazine's 2009 Stoner Movie of the Year Award. Kristen Stewart also received High Times Magazine's 2009 Stonette of the Year Award, due in part to her performance in the film.[8] Home media The film was released August 25, 2009 on DVD and Blu-ray with unrated bonus features.[9] Soundtrack A total of 41 songs were licensed for use in the film.[10] The soundtrack includes 14 songs and was released on April 1, 2009. The songs included are mostly from the 1980s, to fit with the setting of the film, with several tracks from the late 1960s and early 1970s, most notably by The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, the New York Dolls and cult darlings Big Star. The 80's bands represent a cross section of alternative bands from the time including Husker Du, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Nick Lowe, The Cure and The Replacements. The film maintains a notable reverence for Lou Reed, who is idolized by the main character, featured on t-shirts and posters of other cast members and has likewise elevated the status of the playground mechanic stemming from a rumored jam session with the artist. Earlier versions of the script replaced Lou Reed with singer-songwriter Neil Young as the musician Ryan Reynold's character had played with, and used Young's songs "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" and "Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)" in key scenes. Adventureland - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack No. Title Writer(s) Location where played in the film Length 1. "Satellite of Love"   Lou Reed Played while Connell drives with James to help his mother 3:39 2. "Modern Love"   David Bowie Played in amusement park 3:56 3. "I'm in Love with a Girl"   Big Star Played during Em's party 1:47 4. "Just Like Heaven"   The Cure Played during the bumper car sequence 3:31 5. "Rock Me Amadeus"   Falco Played frequently over the amusement park speakers, to most of the characters' annoyance 3:18 6. "Don't Change"   INXS Played over the credits 4:26 7. "Your Love"   The Outfield Played when Joel attempts to ask Sue out 3:42 8. "Don't Dream It's Over"   Crowded House Played during the fireworks scene at 41:46 3:54 9. "Looking for a Kiss"   New York Dolls   3:18 10. "Don't Want to Know if You Are Lonely"   Hüsker Dü Plays as Em gives James a ride home 3:30 11. "Unsatisfied"   The Replacements Played as James arrives in Manhattan 4:00 12. "Pale Blue Eyes"   Lou Reed Played twice in the movie 5:28 13. "Farewell Adventureland"   Yo La Tengo   3:40 14. "Adventureland Theme Song"   Brian Kenney & Ian Berkowitz   0:33 Additional songs A selection of the songs not included on the soundtrack album: "Here She Comes Now" by The Velvet Underground - plays during the opening credits "Breaking the Law" by Judas Priest - (scene: James is chased through the park by an angry patron) "Taste of Cindy" (acoustic version) by The Jesus and Mary Chain "Limelight" by Rush (Munch, one of the games workers, does a poor rendition in an attempt to impress Em, also included in the trailer) "Bastards of Young" by The Replacements (opening sequence) "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake "Blister in the Sun" by Violent Femmes (used in the trailer) "Tops" by The Rolling Stones (scene: "Lisa P is back" at 27:11) "So It Goes" by Nick Lowe "Let the Music Play" by Shannon (scene: Lisa P dancing in front of a thrill ride at 45:25) "Point of No Return" by Exposé (scene: the Razzmatazz club at 49:15) "In My House" by Mary Jane Girls (scene: James and Lisa P in the Razzmatazz club at 1:20:44) "Obsession" by Animotion "Dance Hall Days" by Wang Chung "I Want Action" by Poison "In the Ether" by Black Swan Lane The scenes in which these songs are featured in can be found at the web site what-song.com.[11] References ^ Kaleem Aftab (December 21, 2007). "Adventureland News". IGN Entertainment. http://movies.ign.com/articles/842/842923p1.html. Retrieved October 29, 2008.  ^ "Adventureland 2009 Sundance Film Festival Premiere". List of films at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. http://festival.sundance.org/2009/film_events/films/adventureland. Retrieved November 17, 2009. [dead link] ^ "Adventureland (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/adventureland/. Retrieved 2010-04-10.  ^ "Adventureland Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. 2008-11-25. http://www.metacritic.com/movie/adventureland. Retrieved 2010-09-14.  ^ Adventureland at Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2010-04-10. ^ "Adventureland - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information". The Numbers. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2009/ADVNL.php. Retrieved 2010-09-14.  ^ "Adventureland Gotham Awards Nomination". Gotham Independent Film Awards 2009. http://gotham.ifp.org/. Retrieved November 17, 2009.  ^ "> The 2009 HIGH TIMES Stony Awards". Hightimes.Com. http://hightimes.com/entertainment/ht_admin/6089. Retrieved 2010-09-14.  ^ Adventureland on Blu-ray and DVD on Miramax.com ^ "DVD Release - Adventureland". PopMatters. September 2, 2009. http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/110525-adventureland/. Retrieved November 29, 2010.  ^ Adventureland at what-song. Retrieved 29 August 2009. External links Official website (UK) Adventureland at the Internet Movie Database Adventureland at Allrovi Adventureland at Box Office Mojo Adventureland at Rotten Tomatoes v · d · eFilms directed by Greg Mottola The Daytrippers (1996) · Superbad (2007) · Adventureland (2009) · Paul (2011)