The challenges of ageing are explored in this drama written and directed by star Josh Radnor.
Radnor plays Jesse, a 35 year old coming to terms with both the reality that he’s now an adult and the break-up of his marriage.
While visiting his former College professor, Jesse meets Zibby, (Elizabeth Olsen), a 19 year old student who wants a fast track to adulthood and maturity through sex.
While the two leads have sufficient chemistry to make their character’s attraction to each other seem plausible, their concern about age never really convinces.
Both are too attractive and settled for the audience to believe that either has a deep held neurosis about themselves or their ages, while few in the audience would view their lives as anything other than comfortable and easy.
The West Wing’s Allison Janney does more to convey the film’s central theme in a small role as a Cougar of a professor who beds her students, than either of the two central characters with far more dialogue and screen time.
Some of the preview audience thought the characters were too young for the story. I disagree, but while it’s valid to show younger generations also worry about their future place in the world, Liberal Arts doesn’t really deliver.
In cinemas from October 5th.
Our verdict: 2/5