Liberal Arts

Film, Drama
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Liberal Arts

Jesse (Josh Radnor) is having a mid-thirties mid-life crisis. The one where it dawns on you that those dreams of setting the world on fire might not be on the cards. Jesse was happiest at university. Now, he works at a university – not teaching but in the admissions office. When he meets 19-year-old student Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen, little sis of the twins) at the retirement dinner of his favourite professor, she does all the running. Zibby isn’t bothered that he’s 16 years older. Should he be?

In the Hollywood scheme of things, a 16-year age gap is no biggie – although Ewan McGregor swore off sex scenes, creeped out that his love interests stayed the same age as he got older. So a gold star to writer-director-actor Radnor for tackling the issue. There’s a great scene where Jesse does the maths: when he was 19, Zibby was, er, three. It gets better with age: when he’s 87, she’ll be 71. As a comedy of manners, ‘Liberal Arts’ is perfectly likeable.But you might find its talky touchy-feeliness on the smug side. A professor tells Jesse: ‘Put some armour around that gooey little heart.’ And the film could learn from that.

By: Cath Clarke


Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday October 5 2012
Duration: 97 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Josh Radnor
Screenwriter: Josh Radnor
Cast: Josh Radnor
Zac Efron
Elizabeth Olsen
Allison Janney

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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NaN people listening
Elisa R

Definitely in my top 5 favourite films! Josh Radnor never fails to create films that will get me all warm inside and put a smile on my face. It's like he manages to capture my very soul and thoughts and then transcribe them into images and words in his films. If you're interested in feelings, good dialogues, romance and what happens when you're in this strange in-between stage of being a 30-something, you'll love Liberal Arts! Now, if you decide that Liberal Arts is brilliant film indeed, have a look at Happythankyoumoreplease, my favourite film of all times, also by Josh Radnor.