A film about Nick Twisp, an Unlucky Everydude who's unhappy with his position in life. But everything changes for him once his mother's current boyfriend owes a great deal of money; they flee the town on vacation to Clearlake and stay at a trailer park. There he meets Sheeni Saunders.Once the vacations ends and Nick has to head back home, Sheeni and Nick formulate a plan: Sheeni will try to have Nick's father move to a town near her, and Nick will start acting out in order for his mother to kick him out and have him move in with his father. Once Sheeni finishes off her part of the plan, Nick gets creative with his: he creates an alter ego in the form of Francois, a Bad Asssmoker who is everything Nick imagines Sheeni wants.The trouble is things go exactly as planned.Starring Michael Cera as Nick/Francois.
Of course, Nick wants to be a writer and this quality isn't terribly uncommon in them - particularly in young ones.
Brand X: There is a fast food restaurant called "McDanold's."
Brief Accent Imitation: Vijay, Nick's friend with a (possibly Indo) British accent, pretends to have an Indian accent in order to pretend to be a refugee.
California Doubling: A bizarre inversion. The film is set in various California locations- Oakland, Clearlake, Berkeley, Ukiah, etc. Yet it was filmed entirely in Michigan, with some reshoots in Louisiana. Obviously, Michigan looks nothing like California, though it could be said that the exact setting of the story is unimportant.
This being a subversion of typical Disproportionate Retribution, since, in this case, Nick caused an explosion in the vicinity of many people, countless resultant automobile collisions and accidents, and seemingly unlimited property damage...and yet somehow he gets off the hook when one would expect him to be in prison for life.
While it may a be a light punishment Nick is a minor, he legally can't get a life sentence.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Apparently so. Nick wins Sheeni's love, and she agrees to wait for him while he's in juvie. Whatever he may have done, no one can say he didn't work to earn her love.... But, if you keep watch during the credits, a cartoon epilogue scene plays where Nick escapes from juvenile hall and finds Sheeni driving down the road, so then he gets in the car with her and they fly around the world.
Not to mention that everyone from Nick's deadbeat parents to Francois seems to have given them their blessing, in spite of everything that's occurred...
Easily Forgiven: Sheeni forgives Nick at the end and agrees to wait for him while he's in juvie. After he got her expelled from the school she had always wanted to attend by having a girl drug her so she'd fall asleep in class.
Fanservice: Sheeni in her bikini and sleepwear, Taggarty in her sexy black underwear. And, for Michael Cera fans, he spends a fair amount of the movie bare-chested and/or in boxers.
Gone Horribly Right: Nick and Francois successfully act out, but it results in burning down half the town with his mother's car. Though Nick gets what he wants, by the end he has to deal with the consequences.
Hormone-Addled Teenager: Nick really wants to get laid. He comments when narrating about his parents and their partners that he's the only one who isn't getting any.
Laser-Guided Karma: Jerry screws over a trio of sailors by selling them a car that immediately breaks down. They respond by disassembling the car, and reassembling it piece by piece in his living room.