For Charlize Theron, this film was a complete departure for her. She was dry humored and out of her element as Mavis, a failing young adult author/real estate “saleswoman”/star sleeper. Mavis returns home to Mercury, MN to see her ex boyfriend Buddy (Patrick Wilson) and his child, hoping to recapture the spark they had as teens. She spends most of the day sleeping in a motel as noise from reality shows drown in the background while telling people she runs into that she was in town for a real estate convention when she in fact doesn’t have anything going.
Mavis is oblivious to life, reverting to her days of high school when she was popular. It doesn’t help that she talks with her high school classmate, Matt (Patton Oswalt, who emerges in a great supporting role.) Mavis is not a failure but might as well be as she continues to move into oblivion.
Humor and sadness are put under the microscope, along with pop culture, in this film written by Diablo Cody. Elizabeth Reaser is a part of the solid ensemble, as Beth, Buddy’s wife.