A depressed and alcoholic fiction writer from Minneapolis returns to her small home town in Minnesota determined to rekindle her romance with her high school boyfriend – despite him now being happily married and having just become a father…
Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) is a 37-year-old ghost writer for a series of young adult novels. Originally from a small town in Minnesota called Mercury, she now lives in Minnesota's biggest city Minneapolis, also referred to by some as the "Mini Apple".
Mavis seems "slightly" depressed as she is recently divorced. Moreover, she has been told that her young adult book series is going to be cancelled soon due to low sales. While she is writing on the last book of the series, Mavis receives an e‑mail from her high school boyfriend Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson), who still lives in Mercury, and his wife Beth (Elizabeth Reaser). In the attachment, there is a picture of their newborn daughter.
Mavis believes this to be a sign that she has to return to Mercury in order to get back together with Buddy. After all, she was at her happiest when she was the high school prom queen…
From the Mini Apple to Mini Mercury
Mercury, Mavis' boring home town, seems to be a fictional small town in Minnesota, that stands in as a metaphor place for any American small town.
The filming for Young Adult mainly took part in the state (not the city) of New York, such as in the small town of Nanuet, New York (for the Hampton Inn) or Massapequa, Long Island, New York (for "Woody's").
Some scenes were actually filmed in Minneapolis and Minnesota though. Mavis' apartment complex, for example, can be found on 111 Marquette Avenue in Minneapolis while the small town of Rogers in Minnesota was the setting for "Denny's".
The final verdict:
Funny on the surface, but emotionally complex on the inside. This is a brilliant psychological analysis set in the lesser known American Midwest.