Why I love Em Lewin

For an assignment for my journalism module I looked at arts of fiction which benefit from innovative and captivating characters which stand out from the crowd and create a realistic portrayal of human nature with all its anxieties and experiences. I wanted to try and capture the effects these characters have on the viewer and what it is that makes them so different from the average, often two-dimensional, characters found in many contemporary plots of popular fiction. These interpretations are merely a way of expressing my appreciation of what great minds have given us as a means of escapism. I feel that there are many male fans writing online whereas girls are often expected to restrict their support to chick flicks, so here come the (Fan-) girls.

Em Lewin (portrayed by Kristen Stewart) in Adventureland

Greg Mottola’s latest film Adventureland has often mistakenly been compared to his already-a-classic Superbad (2007). But even as both tell the tales of young males finding their own path, their stories differ significantly. Whereas Superbad depicts the strength of a buddy-relationship at the brink of leaving for college, Adventureland’s protagonist James has already graduated and split with his rather ‘harmful’ friendship with Frigo. Consisting of a humour aptly encapsulating the angst of teenagers, Superbad serves as a manifesto for loyal male fan-groupings. But whereas girls here are merely a MacGuffin, for portraying the romantic inaptitude of the male characters, Em, ‘the’ girl of Adventureland, takes on a significant and meaningful role. She is the driving factor for James self-discovery and thus given more depth. This is a rather typical role for Kristen Stewart: enigmatic but nuanced, her and James’ self-discovery is balanced equally and it is through their relationship together that the film’s message about adult relationships is conveyed, namely that ‘you can’t just avoid everybody you screwed up with’.

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