Poetic justice Is served in insightful LIBERAL ARTS
For a film about aging and romanticism, "Liberal Arts" feels like it needs a more mature script.
| Original Score: C+
Liberal Arts maneuvers its story in a philosophical way that is anything but detached. There's a warmth here that reminds audiences why college -- and, dare we say, their core curriculums? -- matter.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
As a comedy of manners, 'Liberal Arts' is perfectly likeable.But you might find its talky touchy-feeliness on the smug side.
| Original Score: 3/5
There are some entertaining and moving scenes here, but, overall, it's a bit softhearted for my taste.
| Original Score: 2/4
"Liberal Arts" sticks to the syllabus of a decidedly minor movie, but its humanities faculty is first-rate.
| Original Score: 3/4
Liberal Arts is a parfait - a light, enjoyable concoction that goes down easily but doesn't linger.
"Liberal Arts" has its bright moments and it's an enjoyable watch, but it probably won't serve up outbursts of laughter or moments of epiphany.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Radnor ... finds both wit and truth in his characters as they face, in their different ways, growing up.
It's talky, but this suits the idea of college as the last bastion of animated and engaging conversation for its own sake.
It's the kind of film that appeals powerfully to me; to others, maybe not so much.
Josh Radnor is a nice-looking, button-eyed, completely harmless sitcom personality ("How I Met Your Mother," apparently) who has gotten the impression he's a filmmaker.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
An artful blend of tenderness and sharp, clear-eyed observations. Its characters talk like real people -- who also happen to be smart, appealing and thoughtful.
The harder Mr. Radnor strains to make you love his alter ego, the more resistant you become.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Radnor seems pretty impressed with the version of himself he's playing.
Like a too-ardent admirer who sends unwanted poems, the movie's squishy heart is too much.
| Original Score: 2/5
"Liberal Arts" is a light and lively comedy of manners about college, literature and a midlife crisis that hits earlier than expected.
Elizabeth Olsen is beguiling in Liberal Arts, and Josh Radnor has a true filmmaker's eye for detail and atmosphere.
Full of quippy dialogue, banal observations, paper-thin characters and pat resolutions, Liberal Arts is two deodorant commercials away from being a forgettable new TV sitcom.
Liberal Arts calls to mind more the spirit of an alumni magazine, so bathed in nostalgia for academia that you expect autumn leaves to flutter down to the theater floor.
...sincere without being schmaltzy, evocative without being arrogant and lively without being pretentious - well, without being too pretentious.
| Original Score: B+
You'll recognize these characters and the wisdom they arrive at, but it's too bad our hero is such a deeply ethical square.
Despite the possible creepiness of the scenario, Radnor plays the scenes between himself and Olsen with restrained intelligence, understanding the ways both characters project their uncertainties and desires onto each other.
Liberal Arts is so sweet and safe an undertaking, it's like getting baptized in warm bathwater.
The wittiest, most perceptive campus comedy in years.
| Original Score: A-
A coming-of-middle-age comedy running on somewhat less than a full tank.
The film [feels] perilously close to widescreen sitcom.