The film, written and directed by Greg Mottola, plants its flag in thoroughly explored territory, but that familiarity turns out to be integral to its loose and scruffy appeal.
Thanks to an exceptionally deft touch, Mottola manages to capture the absurdity and anguish of young adulthood, while never sacrificing meaning on the altar of crude humor.
Mottola's made a movie that will work like a voodoo charm on a small-but-dedicated audience: onetime slackers who'll not only dig the soundtrack but, probably, be sure to get it on vinyl.
What makes the movie such an unexpectedly potent little number is that Adventureland comes to stand for Stagnationland; the real roller coaster (i.e., life) is just outside the park.
Director Greg Mottola, who made the rather wonderful Superbad, is back now with a sweeter story, more quietly funny, again about a hero who believes he may be a virgin outstaying his shelf life.