Adult World Reviews
Again the supporting cast were fantastic and really helped to add some reality and grounding to this otherwise unbelievable and unrelatable story. Emma Roberts did fine with what she was given, which wasn't much. I most blame the directing and script which spent %98 of the film doing pretty much nothing then giving everyone the undeserved win in the last %2. There was no real conflict. No growth. No expectations for growth either.
I kept hoping the focus of the movie would pivot to any of the far more interesting side characters. Alas, it dragged on (ha!) with Amy throughout her temper-tantrums and failures to learn anything from very teachable moments.
This was not a good film, despite decent elements and the tongue-in-cheek fashion the supporting cast treated the main character like they were all in on the joke... except the joke wasn't very funny or well thought out to begin with.
John Cusack was also a waste of a character. He seems to have befriended Stones character for no apparent reason. Or maybe he had a reason and we just weren't privy to it; possible, seeing that we weren't told anything about this character or his purpose or motives or reason for being revered. He was just there. Acting weird. Not "Finding Forrester" or other generic reclusive writer weird either. Just awkward weird; with what looked to be zero depth or skeletons in his closet or traumatizing history to feed on or anything at all to make him seem cool or wise or even slightly sympathetic or interesting. I really hated this movie, I'm realizing as I write this. On the bright side, however, I guess the guy from American Horror Story was alright in it. He acted like an actual person, at least.
John Cusack is a washed up poet she admires and tries to force her way into his life. It's quite satisfying that he finds her work crap.
I wished it had ended a little less rosy for her as I couldn't stand her. Lol.
No, this isn't a porn. It's a coming of age movie, I guess. Found it on Netflix.
Girl, Amy (played by Emma Roberts), graduates from college and now has 90K in school debt for her poetry degree, and she's never had a job and so far she isn't selling poetry, so what is she going to do? After trying a bunch of places, the only one that hires her is.....Adult World, a ma and pa sex store in downtown. Nope, she didn't tell her parents the truth on where she's working. And no, she isn't selling herself. She's ringing up sales of magazines, videos, and toys. For someone who is supposed to be at the top of her class, it seems like a low place to start.
Well, she moves out of her parents' house. Desperate to follow her dream, she decides she needs a mentor and stalks some poet named "Rat Billings", played by John Cusack. And, yes, I watched this because I was in the mood for a Cusack movie. I was recently reminded he exists.
Amy is a unique character; she's enthusiastic, energetic, determined. She goes a little crazy over this Rat Billings character after stumbling on an old book of his poetry. Somehow, she talks and pushes her way into his life. At first he runs from her, but she is persistent. Finally, he reluctantly decides to tolerate her, even though he clearly finds her obnoxious.
At some point, she even gets drunk and throws herself at him. Now, with a guy who wasn't as decent as Billings apparently is, that could have gone a lot of other ways. I really like that his character had restraint and respect for his young protege, to not take advantage.
So, Amy gets to continue slowly working her way toward a sweet romance with her boss Alex, who is close to her own age. It takes so long to happen and they seem so platonic up until it happened that I actually didn't expect it. I had given up on it happening, and then it finally happened.
There are some weird moments in this movie.. All of Amy's friends are a little weird. Including her first roommate, coworker and crossdresser Rubia, played by Armando Riesco, who helps her when she needs it and tolerates her intruding into his space, for a little while at least, and never takes advantage of her. What a sweet guy. He also helps her chase down Rat Billings and find where he lives, by bicycle! Yes, they are riding bike double through the city, in the snow, chasing Rat Billings in his car...only in an indie film, right!? And, Rubia is pedaling in high heels, too. Just one of the weird moments in this.
In real life, would an innocent and naive girl like Amy, working at a place like Adult World, be surrounded by such nice guys? I really don't think so. But, this is a sweet little fantasy, and Amy gets a happy ending. She finds a sweet first love with Alex and gets her dream come true of being published, not just once, but twice. Neither publishment is exactly what she was hoping for, and it seems realistic that she experienced a lot of rejections before she got any yeses, and yet, she is published at a young age, just as she hoped and believed and struggled to make happen. The drama and effort she put into getting there paid off.
As for continuing to torment and harrass Rat...I think she's about done by the end, and it's kind of funny how she keeps coming back and having one more thing to say and finally is ready to leave him in peace, and he seems secretly satisfied to have contributed to her education. Rat pays her a big compliment during their last confrontation through his window (he won't open his door to her anymore after she busted his guitar, etc), when he calls her a hyena. He says something about culture dying, but she is not going to be part of that. So, in his own not so nice way, he is giving her a compliment on her unique personality and ability to contribute to the survival of culture, or something like that.
I liked it: happy ending and the heroine got to have some big growing and learning experiences without getting broken, with some strange but interesting drama along the way.