What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this drama features lots of language ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," etc.) and some drinking, smoking, and marijuana use. The main character is an aimless musician who starts out as a poor role model, but when a camping adventure goes awry, he must make some tough choices, and in the process learns a little about himself. A few scenes include teens kissing (including a brief kiss between two boys) and talking about sex.
What's the story?
Sam (Mark Duplass) is a loser. There's not really a better way to describe an unemployed rocker wannabe, still playing to sparse Tuesday night crowds. It gets worse when his girlfriend throws him out, leaving him homeless and crashing (again) with his aunt Sharon (Melissa Leo in a small role). With nothing better to do, he agrees to take Sharon's son and his best friend (Bret Loehr and Carr Thompson) camping, a trip that absolutely does not go according to plan.
Is it any good?
There are some things about TRUE ADOLESCENTS that ring true. Duplass has nailed the role of a man still chasing dreams of stardom and refusing to grow up. He's optimistic but bitter and takes it out on everyone around him. No wonder he bugs just about all the people he knows. And the boys, Jake and Oliver, really do seem like best friends who depend on, and sometimes irritate, each other.
The camping-trip-gone-awry is also the kind of thing that could happen to anyone, and it's nice to see Sam step up when people are relying on him. It's almost the catalyst to help him grow. Almost. But in the end, it's not clear that he's learned anything, and the films ends pretty much in the same place it started: a portrait of a loser.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the messages in this movie. What is the movie trying to say about responsibility and life choices? Do you think Sam makes a significant change by the end of the film? Does the film successfully convey its message through Sam?
How realistic is this movie? Do you know anyone like Sam?