Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy has posted what appears to be the first formal review from a NY-LA veteran of Jason Reitman‘s Young Adult (Paramount, 12.9 limited, 12.16 wide) as compared to those drive-by riffs (including my own) posted after that New Beverly early-bird screening on 11.1.

“A tart, abrasive character study of a seriously messed up writer who pens a twisted new episode to her own life, the pungent Young Adult feels like a chapter in what by rights should be a longer film or novel” McCarthy begins. “As if deliberately setting out to make something less warm and friendly than his genial first three features, Jason Reitman reunites here with his Juno cohort Diablo Cody on a smartly observed, well acted but narrowly conceived story about a deluded author of teen novels who plots to win back her high school boyfriend, who’s now a happily married dad.

“Deftly done in every respect, this Paramount release, which oddly bypassed the fall festival circuit, is much closer in feel to an indie-style film than to a major studio production, making it a curious choice for a Christmas launch.

“Directed with acute insight by Reitman with heightened attention to the way people behave when they’re alone, Young Adult is good as far as it goes, but it feels more like a snapshot that a full canvas, a weekend jaunt rather than a real journey.

I had four significant comments: (a) “[It’s] very ballsy, very well written, very brazen and uncompromising — a leap forward for Reitman and Cody both”; (b) “Patton Oswalt, portraying a blunt-spoken, half-crippled fat guy who befriends Charlize Theron’s neurotic writer character, is now a Best Supporting Actor contender…definitely:; (c) “A kind of Jason Voorhees horror film about a raging blind woman, about egotism, myopia and the absolute mania of the self, it’s darkly funny during the first two-thirds to 75%, and sometimes hilarious”; (d) “”As I thought about it [later] I began to realize it’s more than just a character study or a black comedy, but a cautionary tale about a kind of egoistic Kardashian-like malignancy afoot in the culture right now.”