March 21, 2014

Film Friday: "Liberal Arts" Review

(A quick apology for completely dropping the ball on this whole 'Film Friday' shindig.  I was actually engrossed in my schoolwork quite a bit this semester and it has paid off.  And I plan to continue that trend, so don't get excited just yet.)

This spring break I headed to the school library and checked out a handful of DVDs.  One I was particularly excited for was Liberal Arts, which I've been meaning to see ever since it played on a plane ride that I took sans headphones.
The basic premise is nothing complicated.  Jesse Fischer (Josh Radnor) revisits his alma mater for a professor's retirement where he meets the sophomore Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), who he has a fling of sorts with, and various other college students that essentially reawaken the 35-year-old's passion for his own life.  The supporting cast, including Zac Efron and Allison Janney, add some humanity and wit to this otherwise somewhat stale albeit more realistic spin on a rom-com.

I enjoyed the component music played in the lead character's relationship.  As a person who deeply values a well-crafted mix tape -- and furthermore sentiments attached to those selected songs -- I could get behind the idea.  Others may find it strange.  The movie certainly deals with the age difference, but I think I would've liked a different conclusion (trying not to spoil anything).  The very final ending seemed a bit trite too.

Overall, I think I wanted to like this film more than I actually did.  Sure, I thought the performances were good and the writing halfway decent; it just lacked the final punch I was expecting.  Perhaps it's a movie I'll have to revisit in over to fully appreciate it.  Essentially, it is great for a rainy day spent in bed.  I imagine it would be best if you can relate to some of the idiosyncrasies of liberal arts students this movie puts on display.  I certainly did.  Also, there was a brief shootout to my college, Macalester.  That was pretty darn cool.

Click here to watch the trailer.

3.5/5 stars


  1. I know I watched this movie at one point and sort of enjoyed it but also sort of didn't? So that's my contribution to this movie review. Eloquent, I know. And ahhhh it was filmed at Kenyon. That place is gorgeous.

  2. i don't think i have heard of this movie! not sure if i would have wanted to watch it, but after your review i'm a little curious... ;) yay for more film reviews!