May 04, 2015

Adult Beginners (2014)

Adult Beginners (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Ross Katz
Country: USA

Movie Review: The half-hearted dramedy, “Adult Beginners”, about a flopped entrepreneur turned babysitter and the relationships within the family, was Ross Katz’s feature-length directorial theatrical debut, following up the 2009 TV movie “Taking Chance” starring Kevin Bacon. Mr. Katz, who commenced his cinematic career as producer (“In the Bedroom”, “Lost in Translation”) doesn’t overcome the difficulties of choosing the best orientations to turn the film distinguishable, fact that, at no time, makes easier for us to connect with its characters. Screenwriters Jeff Cox and Liz Flahive based themselves on a story by the actor/comedian Nick Kroll, who pops up as Jake, a trendy technology businessman whose company is closing doors right after being launched. The disillusioned Jake is forced to move from the Big Apple and goes to live with his estranged sister, Justine (Rose Byrne), for a couple of months. Justine and her handyman husband, Danny (Bobby Cannavale), accept him with no big deals, but with the condition of Jake babysitting their 3-year-old son, Teddy, in their absence. Apart from the normal troubles that taking care of a child brings, some family issues will come up – Justine is pregnant again and Danny seems to have an affair. Jake starts dating Blanca, another babysitter whom he met on the playground, but reveals a low self-esteem that gets worse when his sister points a finger on him for not showing up to their mom’s funeral. Rather silly than clever, the episodic “Adult Beginners” weighs much more on the beginner side than on the adult one. It belongs to the category of comedies that put so much effort trying to be sweet and touching, but end up being prosaic and pathetic. I felt exasperated, searching for situations that could provide some good laughs, something that was never brought out. Regarding the performances: Rose Byrne was sturdy, Kroll was ok, and Cannavale disappointing.

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