HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
   
 
Newest Articles
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
   
 
  Liberal Arts The Nostalgia GirlBuy this film here.
Year: 2012
Director: Josh Radnor
Stars: Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, Elizabeth Reaser, John Magaro, Kate Burton, Robert Desiderio, Zac Efron, Kristen Bush, Ali Ahn, Ned Daunis, Gregg Edelman
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Things could be going better for Jesse Fisher (Josh Radnor), what with his clothes getting stolen at the launderette, his girlfriend splitting up with him, and his job dealing with university admissions unfulfilling. He thinks back to his own university days with nostalgia, when he was so full of hope for the future, hope which never turned out to blossom into anything satisfying, so when his old tutor Professor Peter Hoberg (Richard Jenkins) calls him out of the blue and asks him to attend his leaving ceremony at the Liberal Arts college Jesse used to be a student in, he jumps at the chance, keen to relive his glory days if only for a short while...

Director, writer and star Josh Radnor would be better known to television audiences than he would be for cinemagoers, what with his hit sitcom, but he had more strings to his bow than delivering the easy laughs in How I Met Your Mother as he was striking out as an indie filmmaker as well. In the case of Liberal Arts, his second film in that capacity, it was nothing especially groundbreaking, setting up a dilemma for its protagonist and proceeding to solve it whereupon after the problem was dealt with it seemed like a storm in a teacup. Fortunately, in Radnor's hands you didn't dismiss the characters outright while we were watching the drama play out, and there were jokes as well.

If this sounded like any number of comedy dramas emerging from the American independent scene - and not only their independent scene - then it was true Radnor really needed to go the extra mile to have the production stand out, which you could convincingly argue he didn't particularly. That was aside from one thing, a question he posed early on, which was whether a man in his mid-thirties can fall in love with a nineteen-year-old, and the feeling be mutual, not to mention mutually beneficial. That was assuredly falling in love which was on the movie's mind, and not falling in lust which would not be too shocking to learn about, depending on the conclusion, but Radnor played Jesse as such a nice guy that you wanted the best for him.

However, was the best for him a much younger girlfriend? The character in question is Zibby, essayed by rising star Elizabeth Olsen, who is portrayed as a perfectly reasonable young woman and one which it was not millions of miles outwith the boundaries of possibility that Jesse would find attractive. She is the student daughter of a couple of Peter's acquaintance who makes a conversational connection with Jesse over a lunch they all enjoy, and soon they are writing letters to each other regularly, to their mutual appreciation (and with the assistance of a magical Zac Efron who our hero meets on the campus one night, an odd item of casting which is not too jarring, as it turns out). But when Jesse is persuaded by Zibby to meet her for a get together, he has cold feet about what that could entail.

Basically, the issue is does Jesse want to have sex with this girl, or is that beyond the pale? Is he the possessor of scruples which will prevent him seducing her - yes - but can he resist her if the tables are turned and she tries to seduce him - not so sure? This was not exactly a Lolita scenario as Zibby is a grown woman who knows her own mind, but we can see by the older characters that life has buffeted them around and made them prone to cynicism and desperation: Jesse is not exempt from that either. It was interesting that Radnor puts the thirtysomething in the same position as Zibby is when he meets an old (and older) tutor (Allison Janney) who he was very impressed with and she takes sexual advantage of him, which may be a dispiriting experience eventually, but helps him put things in perspective, especially when he comes to terms with what Zibby was asking. Even though now she has her own emotional damage to live with, you can't deny Jesse made the right decision in a light comic drama which talked sense, but didn't talk down. Music by Ben Toth.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1103 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: