The opening credits sequence of Dec. 9′s Young Adult is suffused with ’90s nostalgia. Charlize Theron plays a writer of a young-adult literary franchise that sounds quite a bit like Sweet Valley High. She finds a mix tape created for her by her high school boyfriend — and is there anything that more precisely defines everything we are supposed to love about the pre-digital era than The Mix Tape? Because she apparently lives in a bizarro universe, Theron’s car still has a tape deck. So she puts in the mix tape and starts singing along to Teenage Fanclub’s “The Concept,” which I’m sure is a song beloved by anyone who was precisely 17 in October 1991. While the credits roll, the camera fetishistically zooms into the cassette, the tape going round and round and round. It feels a little bit like we’re being set up for an extended trip down memory lane to Nostalgia Town, with a brief stopover in Twee Village and a hearty lunch at the Gosh-Wasn’t-Generation-X-Secretly-AWESOME Café. But as the credits continue, Theron continues rewinding the tape to the beginning, and listening to “The Concept,” and rewinding and listening, rewinding and listening. It’s no longer a nostalgic vision; it’s a vision of nostalgia steadily approaching madness.
Now, nostalgia isn’t a bad thing. Oh wait, actually, strike that: Nostalgia is a horrible thing. READ FULL STORY »