ADULT BEGINNERS (2014)

Directed By: Ross Katz
Written By: Jeff Cox & Liz Flahive
Story By: Nick Kroll, Jeff Cox & Liz Flahive
Cinematography By: Vanja Cernjul
Editor: Paul Frank

Cast: Nick Kroll, Rose Byrne, Bobby Canavale, Joel McHale, Bobby Moynihan, Paula Garces, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Jane Krakowski, Mike Birbiglia, Jason Mantzoukas, Sarah Steele, Josh Charles, Julia White, Jeffrey DeMunn, Seth Barrish 

A young, narcissistic entrepreneur crashes and burns on the eve of his company’s big launch. With his entire life in total disarray, he leaves Manhattan to move in with his estranged pregnant sister, brother-in-law and 3-year-old nephew in the suburbs – only to become their nanny.


This isn’t a film that exactly reinvents the wheel. It is obvious, so obvious it almost feel sitcom comical. Though it does have a sweetness to it and a nice albeit lite message.

The film is rather basic and simple. As we watch middle aged characters. Afraid truly of growing up and taking responsibility and slowly learn how to do that. As they must. As they seem to be coasting through life, but not ready to come to grips with responsibility and the future

As the characters all have an idea in their head of where they would be at and what they should be doing. They have all made it to a degree but wonder now what. As they find themselves unhappy and dissatisfied. We watch their journey as at first it seems they will have to make it on their own as they don’t trust one another. Though as the film goes along we watch them depend on one another. Then betray one another of sorts.

The film is essentially about family and learning life lessons. Luckily the film and direction have a very lite and soft hand. So it never becomes too jaded or heavy handed. As we watch the characters in raising a child finally learn to grow up. With plenty of comedic hijinks that get to the point rather quickly.

Nick Kroll is more serious then we see him usually though is still in a majorly comedic role. So it’s nice to see his range.

Rose Byrne is fun in her role which seems like it will be more of a tragic. Though through the subtlety of her role makes it memorable and quite cute. As she seems to be the most fragile but also level headed character. 

Bobby Canavale is more the link head who is messing up and knows better but is looking to love past glories and hope it will revitalize his life. Though he knows what is at stake and what he could lose.

The rest of the cast is fine. Though not necessarily strong and noteworthy.

The unexpected rears it’s ugly head as characters you believe will be helpful and fun end up being more mean spirited but at least feel true. Showing the harshness of the world they live in and how they can only really depend on one another.The film does lend itself to plenty of comedic moments. As the cast is made up of comedic performers. The moments don’t come off as natural and more at tie a as send up’s of types of people, but they do work.

I would say wait for cable for this one.

Grade: C

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