ADULT BEGINNERS

AdultPosterBONUS POST: 2 Reviews from 2 Points-of-View!

Nick Kroll and Rose Byrne star in a film about a washed-up man living with his sister’s family, a well-intentioned project that relies on its talented cast to carry a middle-of-the-road plot. Directed by Ross Katz and co-written by Jeff Cox and Liz Flahive, Adult Beginners has just enough heart and humor to keep the audience sufficiently entertained. (BKP: 4/5)

*************************

Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky

The comedy opens with pure satire as “Jake” (Nick Kroll) creates a commercial to sell new investment – an eyeglass gadget similar to Google Glass. A few minutes into the film, however, the project collapses and Jake is left completely broke. His solution? Return to his childhood home where his semi-estranged, pregnant sister “Justine” (Rose Byrne) resides with her husband “Danny” (Bobby Cannavale) and their three-year-old son.

They make a deal: Jake can sleep on the guest air mattress for three months in exchange for nannying duties. This way, exhausted Justine can focus on her work as a school guidance counselor and Danny can build their new, downsized house. In predictable fashion, Jake and Justine grow closer as they rehash their past and reconnect as adults. Like any family drama, there are layers to the relationships implying a past life that you have never – and will never – see. The combination of comedy and drama add up to a heartfelt, albeit familiar, story about the enduring support of family.

Rose Byrne stands out among the cast with her understated acting range. She defies the commonplace norms and embraces roles that stray from the typical stay-at-home-mom or workaholic witch. Instead, Byrne brings a realism to each role all while managing to hide her Australian accent. Nick Kroll is comedically charming, particularly in his scenes with the young toddler, and brings out his serious side as down-and-out Jake.

The mix of comedy and drama make Adult Beginners enjoyable and relatable, despite a familiar plot. The film survives on the multitude of storylines occurring at the same time: Justine’s marriage, Justine’s job, Jake’s job, Jake’s relationship, Justine’s pregnancy, etc. It never feels complicated, but is interesting enough to keep the audience engaged. Cameos from Joel McHale and Jane Krakowski pop up every so often, making the heartfelt movie that much more enjoyable.

Review © Brigid K. Presecky (4/23/15)

Presecky Photo Pick: Nick Kroll as “Jake” and Rose Byrne as his sister “Justine.”

Photo Credit: Radius-TWC

Q: Does Adult Beginners pass the Bechdel Test?RedA

Yes.

Woman-to-woman scenes all occur at Justine’s workplace at a the high school. She has a close relationship with one of her students played by Sarah Steele of The Good Wife (who is mysteriously missing from the IMDb credits). They discuss potential colleges and the future. It’s sweet and heartbreaking at the same time as Justine remembers her own unfulfilled potential.

JoelBONUS POST: 2 Reviews from 2 Points-of-View!

“Jake” (Nick Kroll) loses all his money after a business venture crashes and burns. With no moves left, he ventures back to his hometown, inviting himself to stay with his pregnant sister “Justine” (Rose Byrne), her husband “Danny” (Bobby Cannavale), and their 3-year-old son. However, as a condition to stay, Jake must play nanny to his young nephew.

Hilarious consequencess ensue, but more importantly the estranged siblings find solace in each other with the realization that neither has it all figured out. (JEP: 3.5/5)

*************************

Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry

Adult Beginners directed by Ross Katz and written by Jeff Cox and Liz Flahive, had the potential to be great but the end result was just good. “Jake” (Nick Kroll) is a self-absorbed entrepreneur who put all his eggs in one basket and is financially devastated when his business fails spectacularly. Turns out, Jake is not the type to pick himself up, dust himself off and start over. And let’s be honest, flimsy encouragement from his friend “Hudson” — Joel McHale playing Joel McHale (not really, but if you know any character McHale has played, you know Hudson as well) – does nothing to rouse Jake from his well-deserved slump. So what else is there to do but high tail it out of Manhattan and return to your hometown?

Uninvited, Jake knocks on the door of his childhood home, where his sister now lives with her family. Enter “Justine” (Rose Byrne), an overwhelmed pregnant mother, who knew nothing of her brother’s arrival. From how little they know about each other’s lives, it is apparent Jake and Justine are estranged siblings, but all is about to change as Jake invites himself in.

As a condition to stay, Justine and her husband “Danny” (Bobby Cannavale) tell Jake that he must nanny their son Teddy for $300 a week for free room and board. Jake reluctantly agrees and hilarious scenarios follow. Case in point, when Jake takes Teddy to the park in a suitcase because he cannot figure out how to open the stroller.

During a family Skype session, their father insists it is time Teddy learns to swim. Apparently he waited too long to teach Jake and Justine, and it is something he regrets. At her father’s bequest, Justine signs Jake and Teddy up for a “Mommy & Me” swim class. Naturally, Jake is not having it unless Justine agrees to go as well. The two adults are both terrified of the water, and after an embarrassing first swim class with Teddy, the swim instructor (Jane Krakowski) suggests that Jake and Justine take an “Adult Beginners” swim class. Their answer? A resounding no.

Don’t let the title fool you, Adult Beginners has very little to do with swimming and everything to do with admitting you don’t have it all together, and finding yourself along the way. The film was enjoyable but sleepy. The second act dragged slowly along and the ending was predictable. As a huge fan of Rose Byrne I was excited for Adult Beginners, but sadly Justine was a character I had already seen from Byrne before. Although Adult Beginners may be a story we’ve all seen many times, it was an enjoyable new take on an old plot, and there were moments where I found myself laughing out loud.

Review © Jessica E. Perry (6/3/15)

AB

Top Perry Photo Pick: Joel McHale as “Hudson.”

Top Perry Photo Pick: Rose Byrne as “Justine” with Bobby Cannavale as “Danny” and Nick Kroll as “Jake.”

Photo Credit: Radius-TWC

Q: Does Adult Beginners pass the Bechdel Test? RedA

Yes.

Justine works at a high school and there is a female colleague that she is constantly butting heads with about work-related issues throughout the film. Additionally, Justine is teaching college prep to a star student, and the two talk about SATs, college (both Justine and Jake are Ivy League grads), and the curveballs of life.

62 comments

  1. Heya just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures
    aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show
    the same outcome.

  2. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.

    I am quite certain I’ll learn a lot of new stuff right here!

    Best of luck for the next!

  3. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.

    The text in your post seem to be running off the screen in Chrome.

    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with
    internet browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know.
    The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Kudos

  4. Hello i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere, when i read this paragraph i thought i could
    also create comment due to this sensible piece of writing.

  5. Its such as you learn my thoughts! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the e book in it
    or something. I believe that you simply could do with some percent
    to pressure the message home a little bit, however instead of that, this is wonderful blog.
    A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

  6. Hi! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My website looks weird when viewing from my iphone4.
    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be
    able to fix this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share.

    Cheers!

  7. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out
    right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be
    delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come
    further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

  8. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot
    drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has
    83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  9. Hey there! I just want to offer you a huge thumbs up for your great info you have here on this post.
    I am returning to your site for more soon.

  10. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some
    guidance from an established blog. Is it hard to set
    up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.

    I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks

  11. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.

    I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.
    I’m quite certain I will learn a lot of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  12. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d
    ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring
    a blog post or vice-versa? My website addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I
    feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you are
    interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from
    you! Terrific blog by the way!

  13. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I in finding It really helpful & it helped me out much.
    I hope to offer something back and aid others like you aided me.

  14. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  15. Hello my loved one! I want to say that this article is amazing, nice written and come with
    almost all important infos. I’d like to see extra posts like this .

  16. My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from
    PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.

    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on several websites for about
    a year and am worried about switching to another platform.
    I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all
    my wordpress content into it? Any help would be really appreciated!

  17. Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Going through this article
    reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this.
    I’ll forward this information to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a great read.

    Many thanks for sharing!

  18. Excellent blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to
    your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  19. I feel that is among the most important information for me.
    And i’m satisfied reading your article. But wanna statement on few general things, The web
    site style is wonderful, the articles is in point of fact excellent
    : D. Just right job, cheers

  20. My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely right.

    This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  21. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely useful information particularly the last section :
    ) I take care of such information a lot. I used to be looking for this particular
    info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  22. Hi there, the whole thing is going fine here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s in fact
    excellent, keep up writing.

  23. I have been browsing online more than three hours
    today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  24. Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any recommendations?

  25. Hi there everyone, it’s my first pay a visit at this web page,
    and piece of writing is actually fruitful designed for me, keep up posting these
    types of articles or reviews.

  26. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
    It will always be helpful to read content from other authors and
    practice something from other web sites.

  27. Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no data backup.
    Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

  28. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this site.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to
    get that “perfect balance” between superb usability
    and visual appearance. I must say you’ve done a very good
    job with this. Additionally, the blog loads very fast for me on Firefox.
    Exceptional Blog!

  29. Hi everyone, it’s my first visit at this web site, and piece of writing is
    in fact fruitful in support of me, keep up posting these
    content.

  30. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in reality was a amusement account it.
    Look complicated to far added agreeable from
    you! However, how can we communicate?

  31. You could definitely see your expertise in the article you write.
    The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe.
    Always follow your heart.

  32. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you
    really know what you are talking about! Bookmarked.
    Please additionally visit my website =). We could have a link trade
    agreement among us

  33. If some one desires to be updated with hottest technologies afterward he must be go to
    see this web site and be up to date all the time.

  34. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from
    a different web page and thought I might check
    things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to looking over your web page yet again.

  35. First of all I would like to say excellent blog!
    I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself
    and clear your thoughts before writing. I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out.
    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or
    hints? Appreciate it!

  36. Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid
    option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused
    .. Any ideas? Cheers!

  37. Wonderful article! That is the kind of information that are
    meant to be shared across the net. Shame on the search engines for no longer positioning
    this submit upper! Come on over and talk over with my site .

    Thank you =)

  38. Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website, how
    could i subscribe for a blog website? The
    account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted
    of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

  39. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.
    I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting
    things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read more things about it!

  40. Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any
    problems with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work
    due to no data backup. Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *