The Mysteries of Pittsburgh | Chicago Reader

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

In a disarming change of pace, Dodgeball writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber adapts Michael Chabon's first novel, a bildungsroman about an arrested adolescent's stumble into manhood. A recent college grad (Jon Foster) is resigned that the summer of 1983 will be his last gasp of slacker freedom before he embarks on the finance career chosen for him by his cold, disapproving father (Nick Nolte), a successful and feared money launderer. But all bets are off when the kid meets a wealthy blond (Sienna Miller) and her bipolar, bisexual boyfriend (Peter Sarsgaard), a low-tier thug for one of Nolte's criminal associates. The protagonist's sexual adventures are alternately comical and moving, and Thurber injects some menace into the ensuing showdown between father and son. The ending is too theatrical and mawkish, but that's a small price to pay for this sophisticated love story. With Mena Suvari. R, 95 min.

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