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Film / Youth in Revolt

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In the movies, the good guy gets the girl. In real life, it's usually the prick.

Francois: I'm gonna wrap your legs around my head and wear you like the crown that you are.
Nicky: If that's okay with you.

Youth in Revolt is a 2009 film directed by Miguel Areta, based on a book of the same name, and follows 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 badass smoker who is everything Nick imagines Sheeni wants.

The trouble is things go exactly as planned.

Starring Michael Cera as Nick/Francois.

Youth in Revolt provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: The girl at Sheeni's French prep school becomes disturbingly attached to Nick after he sends her a few flattering letters (to manipulate her). When she starts doodling pictures in her notebook. She appears to depict herself as an amorphous-octopus-blob... thing.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The reason why Nick creates Francois is because Sheeni requests that Nick be "very, very bad." He complies and she wants him more than Trent after burning down half his town.
  • Animated Credits Opening
  • Antiquated Linguistics: The juvenile characters astonishingly retain a sophisticated nomenclature.
    • Of course, Nick wants to be a writer and this quality isn't terribly uncommon in them - particularly in young ones.
  • Beard of Evil: Francois, Nick's edgy, womanizing alter ego who encourages him to do crimes, is distinguished from Nick by his mustache and Cool Shades.
  • 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.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: After Nick takes 'shrooms. Playing a little loose on the "Disney" part...
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Nick burns down half his town. His punishment is three months in juvie.
    • 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.
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off!: Ray Liotta's character apparently dealt with Nick this way before the start of the movie. Subverted in movie-proper.
    • "You done tough guy?"
  • 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.
  • Intoxication Ensues: After Paul drugged his parents.
  • Intimate Lotion Application: While sunbathing, flirtatious Sheeni asks her Hormone-Addled Teenager friend Nick to apply sunscreen on her. He does so while straddling her back, but he gets so into it that he can't help but get aroused, causing her to joke about how men get "turned on easily" when she "feels it" on her back. But she doesn't get offended and even turns and asks him to do her "front", to which he awkwardly but eagerly obliges.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: The nebbish and mild-mannered Nick, and his wild, delinquent alter ego Francois.
  • Landline Eavesdropping: Nick calls up Sheeni to excitedly tell her that he's on the run from the law for arson and is moving up to Ukiah to be with her; unfortunately her conservative religious parents are listening in on the other line and immediately ban them from seeing each other and send Sheeni off to boarding school to boot.
  • 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.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Addressed, but subverted by the end.
    Nick: I can feel in my heart that Sheeni is in love with me, not with some fantasy lover in a French romantic novel but me, Nick Twisp. It's funny, after all that, Nick Twisp was enough.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Sheeni Saunders who helps Nick Twisp be free-spirited and leads him into a psychosis.
  • Masturbation Means Sexual Frustration: The film opens with protagonist Nick masturbating to pornography, to denote him as a horny Unlucky Everydude who's unsatisfied with his life.
  • Misplaced Vegetation: Set in Santa Cruz and Ukiah, CA, which are both noted for their dense evergreen redwood forests, but outdoor scenes are filled with Midwestern deciduous forest.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: Inverted, the film is set in fairly mountainous areas of California but was filmed in Michigan so most outdoor scenes are suspiciously flat.
  • Mushroom Samba: After he takes shrooms with Paul, Nick sees the illustrations from his buddy's sex handbook come to life and float through the air.
  • Naked People Trapped Outside: Nick and Vijay get kicked out of Sheeni's dorm mid-intimacy and leave town in only their boxers. Shortly thereafter, they run out of gas and have to get a ride all the way back to Ukiah, where they come up with increasingly flimsy excuses for why they don't have clothes.
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: The embarrassing sun cream scene.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Nick in a wig and a dress as "Carlotta" easily fools Sheeni's parents. But not Trent.
  • Quest for Sex: The plot is driven by Nick's quest first to get laid with anyone, and later to get Sheeni specifically to sleep with him. He finally succeeds right at the end.
  • Really Gets Around: Sheeni's roommate, Taggarty, who's slept with at least 15 guys. She takes photos of the guys she sleeps with, pins them on her bulletin board, and gives them grades.
  • Scare Chord: An organ chord plays when Trent pulls out the letter incriminating Nick, only for the camera to reveal that it was just Mrs. Saunders, high on mushrooms, exploring the organ.


Video Example(s):


You Get Turned On Easily

Sheeni asks Nick to apply sunscreen on her, and he ends up getting aroused. When she notices it, she teases him relentlessly for it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / IntimateLotionApplication

Media sources: