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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Movie Review - Adult Beginners

Adult Beginners (2015)
Starring Nick Kroll, Rose Byrne, and Bobby Cannavale
Directed by Ross Katz

Having never watched The League or The Kroll Show, I was completely and utterly unfamiliar with Nick Kroll.  I have a feeling that the obnoxious, childish adult character he plays in Adult Beginners is his forte (although I am admittedly just guessing at that) and while that may be fine to find your niche and run with it, it doesn't work as a compelling movie character.  Kroll is front and center as Jake, an egotistical and narcissistic entrepreneur whose latest techie device goes belly-up causing him to lose all his money and friends.  Jake heads to his hometown in rural New York and rooms with his sister Justine (Rose Byrne), brother-in-law Danny (Bobby Cannavale), and their young son Teddy (Caleb and Matthew Paddock), agreeing to watch after Teddy while Justine and Danny work as a way to earn a little money.  While there, wild child Jake and sane Justine grow up a little and realize that really they're just Adult Beginners trying to learn their way through life.

Ultimately, the biggest issue with Adult Beginners is that it just isn't funny.  I can live the clichés and the stereotypes in the script as long as there's some kind of humor or charisma or charm to keep me hooked into the story, but none of that really exists here.  I've certainly seen better work from Byrne and Cannavale before and Kroll is not nearly captivating enough as an actor to have a film be centered around him particularly if he's playing the kind of blowhard guy he's playing here.

The RyMickey Rating:  D

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