Director: Greg Mottola
Screenwriters: Greg Mottola

Institute History

  • 2009 Sundance Film Festival


It's the summer of 1987, and James Brennan, an uptight, recent college grad, can't wait to embark on his dream tour of Europe. But when his parents announce they can no longer subsidize his trip, James has little choice but to take a lowly job at a local amusement park. Forget about German beer, world-famous museums, and cute French girls—James's summer will now be populated by belligerent dads, stuffed pandas, and screaming kids high on cotton candy. Lucky for James, what should be his worst summer ever turns into quite an adventure when he discovers love in the most unlikely place.

Greg Mottola directs his own script drawn from personal experience, and his knowledge of people and places shows. He displays a superb talent for revealing nuances of character and environment. Jesse Eisenberg turns in another poignant and amusing performance; between The Squid and the Whale and this film, he shows that he is the perfect embodiment of youthful angst, yet he still manages to be completely human and utterly charming. His love interest in the film, Kristen Stewart, shines as the object of his, and others', desire. Adventureland is a hilarious coming-of-age tale that will speak to anyone who ever had the job from hell but still wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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