As it turned out, “Superbad” soon became one of the biggest and most critically acclaimed comedy hits in a landmark year of hit comedies, lauded for its naturalistic ability to cause uncontrollable laughter while capturing the anxiety-rattled reality of adolescence. Yet, for all his sudden success, Mottola still yearned to move on to the post-adolescent world of ADVENTURELAND, wanting to capture that ineffable feeling of the point in life during which minor catastrophes have major impact on the trajectory of your life. The story stayed with him like a song you can’t get out of your head.
“I always wanted this movie to have a bit of the feeling of a pop song,” muses Mottola. “On the surface, the emotions the characters are going through might seem incredibly commonplace, almost superficial. But, at the same time, these things are enormously powerful when you’re going through them. Finding your first love, losing that person, being disappointed, being deeply disillusioned by love, gaining an understanding of what intimacy actually requires – these things have a huge effect on your life. In ADVENTURELAND, I wanted to get at what that all feels like, because it’s something we all relate to and laugh about.”
ADVENTURELAND becomes such an exhilaratingly funny and emotional adventure entirely because of the people who inhabit it – and from the get go, Greg Mottola knew that casting a group of 20-somethings who would be wholly believable as misfits relegated to minimum wage jobs for the summer would be paramount to pulling the whole thing off.
“Greg is really good at finding faces that are fresh and specific and don’t feel at all like they’re types,” notes Anne Carey. “And because of ‘Superbad,’ it was easier to argue that we didn’t need established movie stars for this kind of movie – because the characters and Greg’s sense of humor are the defining thing.”
Em Lewin / Kristen Stewart:
The razor-tongued yet irresistibly kind-hearted Em Lewin– who Mottola confesses is based on a “composite of a few ex-girlfriends” — is played by 17 year-old Kristen Stewart who was catapulted into the ranks of today’s most sough-after actresses with her leading role in “Twilight” and her riveting scenes opposite Emile Hirsch in Sean Penn’s “Into The Wild.”
Although Stewart is actually younger than the character she plays, she responded viscerally to the character, immediately latching onto Em’s volatile mix of sexual maturity and emotional naiveté. For even as Em is fishing for lost quarters in the arcade, she’s also searching for what her confused heart really wants. “I certainly don’t have the same life experiences Em has, but I felt I could relate to something in her,” says Stewart. “And knowing that she was based on real people Greg has known, I felt a big responsibility to get everything about who she is and her affect on James across.”
As for what a daring, angry, experienced girl like Em sees in a shy, anxious, virginal guy like James, she observes: “There’s something about James that is wonderfully innocent – and Em is so past that, I think his attitude is just disarming to her. James comes along right at a time when she’s involved in something very complicated that’s filled with all kinds of feelings of guilt – and what happens between them is very sweet and simple and real, which is completely new to her.”
Mottola was also excited to see Stewart have the chance to reveal some of her comic chops. “I’ve always thought she had a very mysterious quality and she exudes intelligence, but she also can be very, very funny,” he notes. “She’s one of those actresses who I find deeply fascinating to watch on the screen.”
Jesse Eisenberg says the chemistry with Stewart was completely organic: “She’s so natural and realistic. It’s shocking to see someone so young come across with so much maturity.”
In turn, Stewart says of Eisenberg: “He’s completely earnest so there was never any pretension and it never felt like we were working at it. He’s as straight up and sincere as James, so I thought he was perfect in the role.”
James Brennan / Jesse Eisenberg:
At the heart of the film had to be a young actor who could give James Brennan, lit major turned Horse Derby operator, a mix of awkward fretfulness and erudite charm that would evoke both his stuck position in life, and his underlying romanticism. That description seemed to be a perfect match with Jesse Eisenberg, the rising young actor who garnered an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his breakout role as a kid trapped in the middle of his parents’ separation in Noah Baumbach’s “The Squid and the Whale.”
“I think my only hesitation with Jesse was that I thought, well, he was so wonderful in ‘Squid and the Whale,’ he’s kind of played a younger version of a director before!” says Mottola. “But Jesse is so truly gifted comically and incredibly smart, that he gives a very different and original performance. Jesse is in almost every scene in ADVENTURELAND, and he’s always amazing. He has a way of doing awkward very well, yet in the end, he was a much more flattering version of my younger self than the real thing.”
Eisenberg was drawn to James Brennan not only for his inherent comedy but for his downright decency and sincerity. “He’s really just a bright, benevolent, sweet guy,” says the actor. “He cares about others to the point where he’s still a virgin at 22 because he’s very sincerely waiting for the right situation to come along. He’s a thinker and he’s very contemplative, often too much so. And he has this mix of being clever and optimistic yet miserable that is a lot like me.”
Eisenberg continues: “What I liked most about James is that, like all the characters in ADVENTURELAND, he is so realistically drawn, and a lot of what he goes through feels real because it’s based on true experiences.”
Despite Mottola’s intimate closeness to the material, he didn’t want to overly influence Eisenberg’s performance – and he gave Jesse free reign to create his own portrait of how James’ feelings for Em finally propel him to do the one thing he’s never really done yet in life: act boldly. “Greg was very encouraging to me, and he would share little anecdotes from his past sometimes, but he was also quite mysterious,” recalls Eisenberg. “He’s not one of those directors who’s constantly talking. Instead, I think that, having chosen these actors, he was very contented to let us each do what we needed to do.”
Perhaps the biggest thrill for Eisenberg was getting to be the chronic straight man in a cast of diversely quirky characters. “It was so much fun being around all these incredible comedians” he notes. “I was thankful I didn’t have to compete with them. Since my character is supposed to be the one who’s grounded and real, I could just enjoy them without having try to live up to their outrageousness.”
Mike Connell / Ryan Reynolds:
When James starts to fall for the sharp, worldly-wise arcade girl, Em Lewin, he finds himself facing a highly unlikely romantic rival: Connell, who is simultaneously Adventureland’s maintenance man and, due to a widespread rumor that he once jammed with Lou Reed, also the park’s low-rent version of a local rock star – idolized by the boys and sought after by the ladies.
To play Connell, Greg Mottola chose Ryan Reynolds, whose performances in such films as “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder” and “Smokin’ Aces” have established him as a quickly rising comic talent. Still, Reynolds notes that Connell is unlike anyone else he’s played before.
“I was drawn to Connell because he’s a little bit out of my wheelhouse,” says Reynolds. “He’s a blue-collar guy who works at this lowly park and dreams of greener pastures. He’s a celebrity within the context of Adventureland, but that just basically means he can play the guitar. So there’s something funny about the situation but there’s also something really heartbreaking about him to me. Connell’s Achilles heel is women. He’s a romantic but in the negative sense. I don’t think of him as necessarily a bad guy, but this infatuation he has with romance and falling in love is clearly a detriment to those around him—particularly his wife, who obviously has her husband out on loan.” He continues: “What I was drawn to is that the whole story is like that. It’s a comedy that cuts deeper. It’s about people that are discovering themselves in the midst of the kinds of real problems that real people face and know.”
Says Mottola of his performance: “Ryan is wonderful in the movie and he did an amazing job of putting humility into Connell’s caddishness. Ryan is so sweet and charming it made for a great contrast with Connell’s actions. He decided that Connell feels like a martyr, that he feels like he deserves a different life from this ridiculous job and stagnant life with his mother and wife. The way he made him his own worst enemy makes him really human.”
Joel Schiffman / Martin Starr:
As James gets to know Em, he also befriends Joel Schiffman, the pipe-smoking, Russian literature loving, drolly philosophical game booth worker who initiates James into the absurd conventions and rules of Adventureland life. Playing Joel is Martin Starr, who also worked with Mottola on the television show “Freaks & Geeks” and in a small but memorable role in “Superbad.”
Starr was lured to the project, in large part, by the chance to work with Mottola again. “When I read the script, it didn’t feel like a movie. It felt like a clip out of someone’s life,” he says. “I always like working with Greg because he’s one of the most compassionate directors I’ve ever worked with. And it’s nice to see that he’s getting to make the things that he wants to make now. This is very much his story and his vision is what makes it so compelling.”
Says Mottola of Starr: “Joel is one of my favorite characters in the movie and I knew it was going to be hard to find somebody who could embody all of the character’s strangeness while making it feel interesting and sympathetic, and Martin just ran away with the part. He’s the rare person who can go from dry and sad to grinning and funny with complete authenticity. Jesse’s energy can be very hyper and fast and Martin’s is very slow and even and it made for a really nice contrast.”
Bobby and Paulette: Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig:
Also reuniting with Mottola after “Superbad” are two of the film’s most recognizable stars: “Saturday Night Live” cast members Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, who play Adventureland’s by-thebook managers, Bobby and Paulette, as a kind of quirkily off-kilter American Gothic. Mottola had the duo in mind for the roles ever since he was writing the screenplay, but once on the set he let Hader and Wiig do what they do best: improv and let loose.
Says Hader: “The great thing about Greg is that he’ll say, ‘I think you’d be really right for this part,’ but then he lets you bring whatever you want to it, and incorporates that into the movie.” Adds Wiiig: “It was very collaborative creating these two characters because Greg really let us be involved.”
Hader and Wiig ultimately developed the dynamic of a ditzy, passive Paulette who watches an over-enthusiastic Bobby running around trying to keep Adventureland going by any means necessary. “Bobby’s the one driving everything, trying to figure it all out,” explains Hader, “while Paulette is lobbing in the craziness.”
“And yet, they’re both idiots,” confirms Wiig.
For Jesse Eisenberg, working with Hader and Wiig was almost painful – in a gut-busting way “They were so funny it was nearly difficult to work with them,” he laughs. “They really provided that mix of traditional comedic elements with the film’s sense of realism.”
Tommy Frigo / Matt Bush:
Another lovably idiotic figure in James’ life is Tommy Frigo, James’ childhood friend turned sweatband-sporting, ball-busting prankster. To cast the role, Mottola held auditions, ultimately becoming entranced by newcomer Matt Bush, who will next be seen in Kenneth Lonergan’s “Margaret.”
Bush made the role his own by finding sympathy for Frigo’s pesky ways. “Frigo might come off as a jerk, but my friends and I in high school did the same kinds of things to each other. We would mess with each other all the time, but that was just how we had fun and we still thought of each other as best friends. I think Frigo’s the same way with James,” he says. “He might do things that seem kind of mean but that’s because he really likes James. That’s just the way he conveys it.”
Bill Hader was impressed with the energy between Bush, Starr and Eisenberg. “They make a great comic team,” he observes. “Just when you see them talking together on the set, they have that perfect rhythm.”
Lisa P / Margerita Levieva:
Adventureland’s most lusted-after beauty – the elusive Lisa P, shows her affection for James in a more straight-forward way: asking him out and wrecking havoc with his already confused romantic intentions. Mottola searched for an actress who would have the instantaneous head-turning effect of a sexpot yet just enough depth to see something real in James, and found it in Margarita Levieva, a Russian émigré and former Olympic gymnast who was previously seen in the supernatural thriller “The Invisible.”
Levieva’s audition was unusual from the start. “It was a funny meeting, because my agents called me and told me I had to meet this director right now because his wife was going into labor,” she recalls. Three months later she got a formal audition and won the part.
The very idea of playing Lisa P appealed to Levieva. “It was just so exciting because I’ve never played a character like her before,” she says. “She’s someone who lives in her own world. She hears the music and just dances! She doesn’t care where she is or who is looking. From a distance she might seem obnoxious, but it was fun to try to make her real and human. I think deep down Lisa P really wants to be a part of the smart, caring group people like James, but she’s not sure if she has the stuff to pull it off.”
Levieva was also thrilled by the ensemble of young comic actors that surrounded her. “This was my first comedic film and I felt so lucky to be with so many brilliantly funny people,” she says. “The thing about Greg’s casting though is that the characters aren’t just funny, they’re really human and he brought in actors who could bring that to life.”
Rounding out the crew at the amusement park are fresh comic face Barret Hackney in the role of the Rush-loving Munch; and Paige Howard, the daughter of actor-director Ron Howard, who makes her feature film debut in ADVENTURELAND as Joel’s momentary flame, the nice Catholic girl, Sue O’Malley. Mottola loved casting Howard because he notes that he worked as an extra in her father’s 1986 comedy, “Gung Ho.” “My dad was also excited about that,” admits Howard. “He really loved the fact that Greg remembered being an extra and gets a big kick out of the fact that now I’m in Greg’s film.”
Finally, completing the main cast are screen and television veterans Wendie Malick and Jack Gilpin as James’ frugal mom and secret-hiding dad who break the bad news that James won’t be going to Europe, or possibly anywhere. Both were attracted to working with Greg Mottola. “He’s someone who really wants to get at the what’s going on underneath the surfaces, and there’s nothing 2-dimensional about what he does,” says Gilpin. “The story is filled with humor but he isn’t playing it for laughs. It’s played for truthfulness.”
Sums up Malick: “Greg has a very original, funny take on life and yet, I love how he finds compassion for all these oddball characters.”
One of the most offbeat characters in ADVENTURELAND isn’t a human being at all, but the amusement park itself, with its slightly tawdry, occasionally thrilling, always quirky ambiance, which sets the tone for James’ summer journey into and out of romantic limbo.
Notes Ted Hope: “Greg Mottola always talked about Adventureland being this kind of place where at one moment it might be filled with screaming, puking kids and all kinds of rancid people and the same songs playing over and over again until your ears bleed; and the next, the light would start to dim, a soft summer breeze would rise up, your favorite song would come on and suddenly the girl you’ve been nervous about for days is walking towards you and everything is magical. That’s the feeling he wanted in the movie.”
To get to that feeling, though, he’d have to find the park not of his dreams, but of his memories. Sadly, the actual Adventureland – the one in Farmingdale, New York, where Mottola worked as a Columbia student– had long since been renovated almost beyond his recognition. “It had a completely different feeling than the place I remembered,” says Mottola.
This meant that Mottola would have to set out on a quest to find that rare amusement park which had retained that 80s feeling, one that had an urban setting but few modern amenities — no easy feat in an age of increasingly high-tech and cross-marketed parks. “A lot of amusement parks are very corporate these days,” observes Mottola. “They have a lot of cartoon character affiliations with Disney or Warner Brothers, and we didn’t want that. We were looking for that one amusement park that hasn’t changed much over the years.”
Ultimately, Mottola’s search would take him to the industrial city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — where Mottola had attended Carnegie Mellon as an undergraduate — and Kennywood Park, one of just two amusement parks on the National Register of Historic places. Founded in 1898, Kennywood has survived two World Wars and the Great Depression and made it into the 21st Century with its coasters, game booths and independent spirit intact.
Mottola quickly fell in love with the place. “Kennywood was immediately attractive to me because I have a lot of affection for Pittsburgh,” he comments. “It’s definitely a much nicer park than the Adventureland I remember, but it was preserved enough and so spacious that there was room for us to make it a little grungier, to bring in our own dilapidated booths and garbage and create the rougher look of Adventureland. The park was very game to give us our own corners and let us change things.”
Adds Ted Hope: “I don’t know if we could have made this movie if Kennywood didn’t exist. Where else could we have found an amusement park so meticulously maintained that we could shoot a period piece? Where else could we have found an amusement park that wasn’t corrupted by blatant branding – yet had that atmosphere of old-fashioned fun? Lo and behold, Kennywood had it all.”
Once Kennywood made the cut, Mottola quickly embraced Pittsburgh as a location and as James’ new hometown. ““Pittsburgh is a really interesting, photogenic city, so it felt liberating to make the decision to stay there. Behind Kennywood is one of the last operating steel mills. It’s part of the city’s fabric, and things like that add to the look and feel of the film,” says the director.
Shooting at Kennywood did, however, present its own bevy of challenges. Filming had to straddle summer and fall, taking place when the park was still operational; and no ride could be turned on without being inspected and cleared by a Kennywood representative, even if the ride only appeared in the background, with no riders.
For the cast however, the playful atmosphere was perfect. “It was such a fun environment to have all to ourselves,” says Kristen Stewart, who proudly confesses she rode the Jack Rabbit roller coaster more than a half dozen times during production.
“I loved shooting at the amusement park,” echoes Jesse Eisenberg. “I think it looks really cool to watch an intimate scene in the movie and see all these crazy, colorful things happening in the background. It makes the scenes that much more interesting.”
Production designer Stephen Beatrice (whose films include “The Woodsman” and the forthcoming “Interviews With Hideous Men”) used the park’s most Adventureland-like features mixed with Mottola’s memories to propel the sets back to the 1980s. “We used things in Kennywood that would be visually appealing,” says Beatrice. “We also used several existing games like Spill the Milk, Gone Fishin’, and The Shooting Gallery. But we weren’t able to find any game like ‘Hats Off to Larry’ that existed, so we created those ourselves,” says Beatrice. “My art director and I drew sketches according to what Greg told us. Then we added flavor, putting our own spin on it.”
After filling the Adventureland parking lot with Ford Tempos, Chevy Celebrities, Reliant K car — not to mention James’ Pacer – it seemed that the hands of time had been suddenly inched 2 decades backwards… all the way back into the Reagan 80s.
Mottola was gratified to see his memories suddenly come back to vivid life. “I always wanted the film to have a ‘you are there’ feel, like you’re getting into a time machine to go spend a summer in Adventureland,” he says. “There are a few more stylized moments, but I think the cast and crew succeeded in creating a naturalistic feeling that puts you in the park with them.”
Beatrice also used other Pittsburgh locations, including an abandoned bar in the strip district that stood in for Razmatazz; and Jodi B’s restaurant which stood in for the Velvet Touch, where James and Lisa P. have their fateful date. He collaborated closely with director of photography Terry Stacey (“The Door in the Floor,” “P.S. I Love You”) in forging a palpable realism that accentuates the humanness of the comedy.
“We used lighting in a way that enhances the natural mood of a scene,” explains Stacey. “The idea was to create a feeling that’s not too stylized, that’s got just a little more grit to it. It’s almost like a ’70s film but prettier. We wanted the camera and the lighting to look like they’re just working to tell the story in a true way, not standing out. It was very much about working with the energy of each scene to create a natural look.”
When it came to the 80s costumes, Mottola also wanted to stay relatively natural – while being upfront about the over-the-top tastes of the era. “I certainly didn’t want the look of the film to be just a cheap joke at the expense of the ’80s,” he says, “but having said that, once you start putting people in acid wash jeans and giving them asymmetrical haircuts, it gets pretty ridiculous!”
“The past always has a way of looking outrageous,” he continues. “But we tried to avoid parody and let the audience feel like they are there, 20 years ago, in the lives of these people.” To do so, costume designer Melissa Toth dove into a nostalgic but true-to-the-era grab bag of crimped hair, fuzzy leggings, “Flashdance”-inspired tops, day-glo colors, harem and stirrup pants, sweatbands, tube socks, and, naturally, lots of big hair.
For inspiration, Toth poured over old Sears catalogs and youthful fashion magazines, such as Seventeen and People, and did quite a lot of research on YouTube, the latest and greatest source for old music videos, TV commercials, and home videos. Having graduated from high school in 1986, she also used her own yearbooks and memories for guidance. Then, she raided thrift stores and costume houses in search of authentic 80s gear.
Toth and Mottola also worked together to create the emblematic Adventureland “Games Games Games” and “Rides Rides Rides” t-shirt that plays a recurring role in the film. “In the end we went with a design that reflected the real ‘Adventureland’ t-shirt that Greg wore as a youth,” says Toth.
They also developed specific ideas for each character. “We wanted Em to be not a follower of fashion at all, so we kept her look more on the classic side, with a bit of a rock-n-roll flavor,” notes the costume designer. “The same was true of James, who isn’t trendy and doesn’t have as strong of an 80s look.”
However, the ’80s have definitely affected, or afflicted, Joel, Frigo and Lisa P. For Frigo, whose signature look was comprised of short shorts, sweatbands, muscle shirts and gold chains, Toth took a page out of her own personal history. “In middle school we all used to wear baseball shirts with our names ironed on the front in fuzzy letters, and some slogan on the back,” she says. “I told Greg about this and he came up with some hilarious ideas for Frigo’s shirt sayings, which became a great part of the movie.”
Margarita Levieva sported some of the more hilariously trendy outfits in the movie as Lisa P, and had a blast with it. “Once I agreed to play Lisa P., I knew I was going to go full force with her fashion sense,” says the actress. “I especially love the turquoise dress with these football player shoulders she wears on her date with James.”
Playing Paulette, Kristen Wiig had to rock high-waisted acid wash jeans and scrunchies. “It brought me back to when I grew up,” she says, “and the realization that there was just a lot of bad, bad fashion.”
Meanwhile, Bill Hader’s biggest ’80s fashion statement in the role of Bobby was his ample, dark mustache, which was Greg Mottola’s idea. “The mustache is crazy. It’s almost a character in itself,” laughs Hader. “”We were going to do some other things, but the mustache just says it all.”
Even as he was writing ADVENTURELAND, Mottola was hearing the soundtrack to James’ life, soaked through with pop songs, 80s rock and classic power ballads, in his head. He populated the screenplay, the set and, ultimately, the movie itself, with wall-to-wall tunes from the era, tunes from Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie, as well as iconic cuts from a mix of indie bands, ranging from The Replacements and Crowded House to Nick Lowe and The Cure; to hard rockers, including The New York Dolls, White Snake and Judas Priest; all the way to Top 40 hitmakers Falco and Wang Chung.
The song titles themselves speak to a time of life full of lust, energy, defiance and yearning: “Bastards of the Young,” “Looking for a Kiss,” “Don’t Dream It’s Over” “Satellite of Love,” to name just a few.
“I wanted songs that meant something personal to me,” says Mottola, “the kind of songs that helped me get through difficult times and sadness. But there are also songs used with a bit of loving parody especially Falco’s ‘Rock Me Amadeus,’ definitely a song I love but that was played all too often in the mid ’80s.”
Producer Ted Hope brought in music supervisor Tracy McKnight — whose past films include Lasse Halstrom’s “The Hoax,” John Polson’s “Tenderness” and the hit documentary “Murderball” — to tackle the massive task of compiling and licensing dozens upon dozens of high-profile, vintage songs on an indie budget.
McKnight says she welcomed the challenge. “I love a task that seems gargantuan and impossible,” she says. “It ups your game and it pushes you. As soon as I met with Greg, I understood that he had a very strong vision of the music, that it really meant something to him, and I didn’t want to let him down.”
She continues: “The idea was to fill the movie end-to-end with music that really pulls you into the world of Adventureland and into James’ personal world. Greg wanted the music to be very authentic – to represent what you might hear at an amusement park but also what you would hear on the radio and what cool kids were listening to in the 80s. That meant reaching out to some of the biggest icons of the era – the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Lou Reed – and chasing after massive hits like ‘Rock Me Amadeus.
When it came to dealing with artists known for keeping tight control over their songs, McKnight used the only tools she had: a passion for the film and sheer perseverance. “I approached it with a ‘never say die’ attitude,” she explains. “We knew were going after real icons with Bowie, Lou Reed and the Rolling Stones. It took us 7 months to clear the Rolling Stones song but we had to have it, because it was one of the first things that Greg had written right into the script. Everyone said it couldn’t be done so it was a real fist-pumping day when we closed the deal. It was just so nice to see a piece of music come through that was at the heart of this project.”
As she approached the artists, she also encountered a lot of enthusiasm. “Thanks to ‘Superbad,’ a lot of people were already really excited about Greg so that helped a lot,” McKnight says. “For example, while we were negotiating the Rush song, they told us: ‘we’re not going to say no to one of our favorite directors.’”
Ultimately, some 40 different songs were woven together with a rock-based score by the beloved Hoboken indie trio Yo La Tengo, who since 1984, have released more than 20 albums, garnering both critical accolades and a devoted following.
Meanwhile, McKnight also worked with Greg Mottola to forge the sounds of Adventureland itself – finding herself in the unexpected position of scouring the planet for carousel music. “Greg had a very specific idea in mind of what would sound right – that certain tone that you remember from old amusement parks and it just isn’t easy to find anymore,” she notes. “We were ultimately able to track down two guys who turned out to be masters of carousel organ and they were just thrilled to create the right sound for us.”
In the end, McKnight was gratified by all that they were able to achieve with the film’s score and soundtrack – adding to the film’s feeling of a pop song come to life. “It’s fun, there’s something for everyone and I think the music really comes together with the story and the performances to create an experience,” she says. “I had a great time working with Greg and the whole team and in the end, I got the best reward possible: a giant-ass panda.”
Whether it was the music, the setting or the performances, the key for Greg Mottola in every aspect of the film was immersing the audience in the very idea of Adventureland as a specific time in life. “One of the real beauties of the movie,” summarizes Ted Hope, “is that it creates a full world, a very real time and a very real place filled with very real individuals. Within that world, you have this bunch of misfits becoming a de facto family and you have this young man learning to think for himself – and you’re hit straight on with that feeling of first love that Greg was so dead-set on capturing.”
Directed by: Greg Mottola
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Stewart, Martin Starr, Paige Howard, Wendie Malick, Kristen Wiig, Kevin Breznahan, Margarita Levieva, Marc Grapey, Eric Schaeffer, Mary Birdsong
Screenplay by: Greg Mottola, Adam Kroloff
Production Design by: Stephen Beatrice
Cinematography by: Terry Stacey
Film Editing by: Anne McCabe
Costume Design by: Melissa Toth
Set Decoration by: Cristina Casanas
Art Direction by: Matthew Munn
Music by: Yo La Tengo
MPAA Rating: R for langage, drug use and sexual references.
Distributed by: Miramax Films
Release Date: March 27, 2009