Brandon, you were brave enough to declare Coraline the best film of 2009 so far. I'll follow your lead and boldly shout that Adventureland is the first 2009 film I've seen so far this year that deserves that title.
Adventureland is (so far) the best film of 2009 (that I've seen).
List of qualifying 2009 releases that I've seen competing with Adventureland:
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Madea Goes to Jail
Monsters vs. Aliens
Even if I'd hated Adventureland, it probably still would have beaten out those 4 titles. I didn't hate it. Quite the opposite.
I think that I join most of the pro critics that liked this film when I admit that I relate to the literate dork hero of James Brennan. Maybe even a little bit more to the full-time literate loser, Joel. What does Russian literature prepare someone for besides a lifetime in an English department or life in a games booth at Adventureland?
We are doing the work of pathetic lazy morons.
I laughed out loud often. Rock Me Amadeus made me laugh each time I heard it, except for the last time, which I thought was a serious misstep in the movie. Lisa P is actually a fairly well developed character up until that point, but she's thrown away in a cheap laugh moment. Another recurring joke involving groin violence could have gotten old, but it felt fresh each time.
The ending, SPOILER, is predictable - yes, sex is a consummation.
Interestingly, the two most shallow awful characters in the film are clearly labeled as Catholic girls. It's a strange occurrence. Obviously, this is something important to Mottola, either consciously or unconsciously, but I won't make too much of it.
Here's to hoping that Adventureland is a signal that it's time for 2009 at the movies to start in earnest. Nothing but the good stuff from now 'til year end.