Sorry, Striking Distance. There’s a new favorite Pittsburgh movie in town.
Yes, I saw Adventureland, and yes, it was fantastic. And yes, there was a ton of Kennywood in it. And the 16th Street Bridge, and fireworks, and the Monroeville Mall.
But unlike that beloved mess of a cop drama, this movie is actually very good. It deals very realistically with the small traumas and triumphs that make up our youth – including the pathos and drudgery of working a minimum wage job at a place where everyone is supposed to have fun.
The story centers on James, who is forced by family financial troubles to go home to Pittsburgh and work all summer instead of trekking through Europe with his Ivy League friends, and his coworkers at Kennyw– I mean Adventureland. They all are refugees of sorts, with problems and failures in their lives that lead them to work there, and they are all recognizable as the kind of people you knew when you were young, and maybe still know now.
There’s some funniness, and some sadness. There’s mature handling of substance use and sex, and did I mention? There’s lots and lots of Kennywood.