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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: Youth in Revolt

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February 12, 2010

Movie Review Friday: Youth in Revolt

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week we review a film with an environmental theme that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a short review of 100 or fewer words and look for it in the next Movie Review Friday.

Youth in Revolt (2010)

In theaters now

In an early scene, Youth in Revolt's Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) and his rebellious alter-ego, Francois Dillinger, send a gasoline-packed convertible and camper careening into a crowded Berkeley cafe, causing a spectacular explosion. Nothing about that scene is eco-friendly (except perhaps the cafe's patrons, who were no doubt nibbling on organic biscuits and sipping fair-trade coffee from reusable mugs). But when the Sierra Club's venerable founder, John Muir, is name-dropped in a mainstream flick, our ears perk up.

"I do all my hiking free-form. Like John Muir, I enter the woods with nothing more than my journal and a childlike sense of wonder," muses Nick/Francois in one of his many attempts to woo love interest Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday) in this quirky coming-of-age comedy. And why not? Legend has it that the grizzly-bearded patron saint of America's oldest and largest conservation organization once weathered a storm clinging to the top of a ponderosa pine. Now that's the kind of devil-may-care attitude that would impress Sheeni Saunders.

Rich in awkward interactions with oddball darlings like Zach Galifianakis and Steve Buscemi, Youth in Revolt is basically a wet dream for Michael Cera fans and flannel-clad hipsters. Any movie-generated Muir-love trends could be as fleeting as the styles at H&M. But some of those kids might be convinced to stick around and join the environmental movement if their enthusiasm is met with acceptance. So if you count yourself among the Birkenstock-shod set or the Gore-Tex-clad crowd, don't be alarmed if your metaphorical Berkeley cafe is suddenly hit with an explosion of skinny-jean-flavored youth power. Good environmentalists won't let that energy go to waste.

--Della Watson

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