"Young Adult" writer Diablo Cody explains, "Mavis has a huge entitlement complex, and she's driven by childlike impulses. She doesn't really have a huge epiphany that turns her around."
In place of a self-improving catharsis, Mavis instead revels in the type of third-act meltdown that characterizes many exemplars of Nervous Breakdown Cinema. Dressed like a runway model in stiletto heels and a thick smear of blood-red lipstick, Mavis shows up at a small town baby-naming party thrown by her ex-boyfriend (Patrick Wilson) and hurls the F-bomb at the nice mom (Elizabeth Reaser).
Why so much rage?
"Mavis is extremely indignant about how happy everyone seems to be," Cody says. "She doesn't feel they have any right to be satisfied with their lives, because she isn't. She wants to drive the point home that she is prettier, better, more successful."
Cody, winner of an Academy Award for her "Juno" screenplay, says Anne Hathaway's performance as the bitterly funny narcissist in 2008's "Rachel Getting Married" served as inspiration for "Young Adult." "On one hand, it's horrifying to see how disturbed Mavis is and watch her behave in this way. On the other hand — I don't know how to say this without sounding like a complete psychopath — but when I watch the film, I want to see what she'll do next. I'm kind of hoping nobody can stop her."
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