I honestly don’t know how and where to start reviewing/describing this movie. So maybe with a brief intro; Palo Alto is based on a book of short stories written by James Franco. This is Gia Coppola’s
début film, quite risky taking on a project like this – but let’s be realistic, her aunt is Sofia Coppola and grandfather is Francis Ford Coppola, so directing comes quite natural to her.
Short synopsis; the story revolves around the troubled and confused teens of Palo Alto; because getting wasted and sleeping around is what high school is all about.
I’m going to discuss this movie in terms of each of the main characters; because I honestly don’t know how else to start reviewing such an amazing movie which brought out absolutely the most amazing performances from each of the.
Jack Kilmer who I recently featured for his new campaign for YSL; plays Teddy, a high school senior, who is easily influenced by his best friend Fred (Nat Wolff) – Fred brings out the worst in Teddy. He is this destructive rebellious teen with a ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude.
The ‘fuck it’ attitude lands him in quite a bit of trouble, which doesn’t help his case in trying to win over April (Emma Roberts) – the two have barely spoken but both are seriously crushing on each other. Anyway, thanks to his ‘fuck it’ attitude he lands himself doing community service, with Fred nowhere insight we get a glimpse of who Teddy actually is – the artistic ‘lonely boy’, who doesn’t really need all that teen rebellion shit in his life – he can function without it. In the end we see him walking in a straight line – I may be looking too much into it, but it’s as if he is sober now and grown out of that ‘fuck it’ phase he had in the beginning.
Okay, I’m actually really excited to talk about Nat Wolff‘s character Fred, it may sound like I’m ‘fan-girling’ Wolff – but seriously this movie reveals just how talented Wolff is.
Here he transforms into this cocky, arrogant, rebellious high school senior who manipulates his best friend Teddy to do crazy shit and then convinces a girl that he loves her just so she’ll screw or blow him, also this girl is easy as fuck – in order to keep her legs closed you would need to bolt them together, no wait, rather get her a fucken chastity belt! If you’ve watched ‘Stuck in love’ or ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ you’d know that Wolff is an exceptional actor, the characters are all so diverse, but this my friend is his best role yet. He is the bully in the movie, it’s like he’s trying to compensate for something that has affected him and we only see his vulnerability towards the end of the movie for a few minutes, and then he resumes his ‘fuck the world, let’s live life on the edge’ – this is also what seems like the end of his and Teddy’s friendship.
I’ve never been much of a Emma Roberts fan, but her portrayal of April in this movie really gave perspective of the type of actress that Roberts is. April is on the introvert side, she’s not an outcast though, but more so the naïve girl that doesn’t know any better and ends up having couch sex with her delicious soccer couch (James Franco).
Roberts’ character doesn’t know any better, and like Teddy who she is actually crushing on, smoking is like an ‘it’ thing to do, she doesn’t rebel as much as he does but they perfect for each other because they both confused as fuck and they don’t really have any direction in their life and know what they want to do – much like any teen, but I feel that this example of going out and getting totally wasted and just letting guys swipe your vag could maybe be the real depiction of the youth today – who has gotten laid the most.
In April’s defense, if my soccer coach was James Franco or looked like him and he told me he was in love with me I would also sleep with him. Franco’s character targets the ‘lost girls’ who baby sit his son – very strategic – makes them feel wanted, and of course these girls appreciate the fact that an older man is attracted to them. Thinking about it, it’s actually creepy as fuck! Borderline paedo. Anyway, he is the JERK of the movie.
As much as I hate to admit this, Zoe Levin‘s character Emily was one of my favourites in this whole movie. All this poor girl wants is to be in love and wants someone to actually give a fuck about her. Now her mistake and biggest flaw, is that she mistakes love for sex. Thinking that by screwing or blowing a guy, in return will get her the relationship that she craves so badly – stupid naïve little girl.
Now this is where Fred was spot on, he knew exactly how to manipulate and charm his way into her panties and well her into his. The turning point in this ‘relationship’ if you would like to call it; is when he gets her so wasted at a party, takes her upstairs gets her naked and lets guys come in to bang her – the fuck?! Could that be any more messed up? Have they not heard of STD’s? Well since this was the turning point, Emily comes to her senses in the end and smacks Fred over the head with a bottle and then he dies – joking.
Basically in true Coppola fashion, it had a killer soundtrack curated by Devonte Hynes – I’ve had the title song on repeat; I’m sure you will as well.