Liberal Arts - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Liberal Arts Reviews

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February 5, 2017
While it certainly has charms and a good message as well as a great performance from Elizabeth Olsen, Liberal Arts just does not have the compelling or relatable characters that are required in any good romantic comedy to pull off its interesting story.
January 3, 2017
I'm on my lunch break at my desk, so I might as well write a review, due to preponderance of boredom, to flex out the mechanical keyboard muscles or something. I must admit, I watched this late last night to wind down the weekend, and going in, I thought that this would be HIMYM with Elizabeth Olson, but I was in for a surprise. I get the premise of the story and some of the intended realism. But I personally just did not enjoy this film. Only the lines from the penpal montages were witty in my opinion... Something about Radnor's personality taken almost exactly from his persona on HIMYM just doesn't quite work when translated onto the silver screen... or is it perhaps a different set of writers? In any case, I just didn't really find the humor in this film funny if I'm being brutally honest. It ranged from lilting prose (perhaps 15% of the time) to utterly cringe-worthy interactions between the pair. I kept thinking several times throughout, are they REALLY doing/saying that?? The dialogue mostly feels forced / not smooth at all, which was not what I expected from Radnor. Like, I get that the realism is meant to portray the disappointment you find out in real life about people... But honestly, if I wanted that, I'd not spend two hours on a film... I'd just live real life (and have more fun/humor at that). While a depressing film can have its value, this one in particular does not have the artistic/storytelling worth to watch. Very mixed feelings on this one. I wanted to like it, but I simply (like what Radnor tells Olsen in the bedroom)... couldn't.
January 3, 2017
I'm sure the fact that I got a liberal arts degree made me like this movie more than others might. It's a rather pensive drama, with very light comedic touches. I really liked it, and will blog about it, for sure!
November 30, 2016
Josh Radnor proves he can act outside of HIMYM
½ November 8, 2016
Interesting movie about an adult trying to stay young and don't want to become old after visiting his old college campus. Additionally, a college student trying to grow old. Throughout the movie, you will see that people are just in a different chapter of a book.
½ November 7, 2016
this is really pathetic...
½ October 22, 2016
CAUTION - CONTAINS SPOILERS

I'm giving the film 1.5 stars because it does have some good elements...

There's some good cinematography, decent music/scoring, and the character development was alright...

But Jesse really should have had sex with Zibby and developed a deeper relationship with her.

The morality play element of the film was really cringey and misguided.

Was it really better for him to have a one-night-stand with his former professor, or for her to lose her virginity hooking up with some dude she wasn't even that into - just to get it over with?...Rather than the two of them together, who actually had a real connection and had been getting to know each other for quite some time...

And I mean even his thing at the end with the woman from the bookstore - it just seemed kind of forced...And I mean in the sense of it feeling forced into the plot of the film - not like it was forced between them, though their relationship did seem still on the superficial side. She had done what exactly? Just complimented his shirt at the beginning of the movie, and then they had one conversation - they didn't make each other mixed cds or correspond or anything....I mean who knows, maybe their relationship could still develop more, but I didn't really feel the same chemistry....

Oh, but it was "age appropriate" - how romantic! :-P
Super Reviewer
½ October 3, 2016
One of the better finds, I couldn't stop watching this film and loved every minute of it. A gentle discovery film that is well directed and acted by Raynor. A great find and one film I respond a lot with.
September 25, 2016
OK, not great. Almost a student "film" but shot better in the low'ish budget genre. A morality play on the subject of older, younger, & age appropriate women for thoughtful men, and good in that regard. Thankfully it was no longer than it was, so the editing was about right. Elizabeth Olsen was good but did not really that seductive, as she was supposed to be. A better casting choice could have been made. Had the low-budget "feel" of "At Middleton" with Andy Garcia & Vera Farmiga.
July 3, 2016
A fun movie to watch. Josh Radnor plays a man at a cross roads who has to revisit his university years to grow up. I found this really enjoyable.
June 21, 2016
Josh Radnor improves on his directing and writing mantle to tell a coming-of-age story.
½ June 15, 2016
Liberal Arts is a decent film. It is about Jesse who falls in love with Zibby, a college student. Josh Radnor and Elizabeth Olsen give good performances. The screenplay is a little slow in places. Josh Radnor also did an alright job directing this movie. I liked this motion picture because of the humor.
May 27, 2016
I read a blurb about this movie somewhere and put it in my Amazon basket ? I actually bought it, stocked up on chocolates and stayed in one cold night to watch it. Until I realized what it was I would have given it three or four stars. As the movie progressed I kept saying to myself, ?no, no, please don?t let it be ANOTHER didactic, puritanical American tale about who it is OK to have sex with! (or ?date? as the silly euphemism goes)?.

But that?s exactly what happened. Janney is ?bad? because she has sex outside her ?fuddy-duddy approved, age appropriate sub-group?, Radnor is ?nearly bad? because as an ?old? 35 year old male HE nearly considers thinking about having sex with a 19 year old (the LAST American taboo), Olsen is ?good? because, though she goes and has sex with a slimy Jock Alpha male stereotype the night Radnor turns down her generous offer and Jenkins is ?good? because he reminds Radnor that one must never, ever have sex with a female younger than oneself.

This was yet another pathetic American morality play about nonsense ? it would be laughed off the screen in any other country. Americans need to get over the fact that their daughters want (indeed many of them ?need?) to have sex with guys who are much older than they are and that this is normal.

This is a saccharine movie about approving of who you have sex with. Yuch!!
May 13, 2016
As Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan and Neil Patrick Harris never gave me weird feelings about portraying other roles than Marshall, Lili and Barney, I have always had struggles seeing Josh Radnor and Cobie Smulders being anything different than Ted and Robin.
But this time Radnor's performances really had its own personality and the whole movie was a genuine and fresh experience, thanks also to the good performances from the rest of the cast.
May 10, 2016
This motherfucking movie having fucking olsen to star in and NOBODY is fucking. Grow some fucking balls
May 6, 2016
Great movie. Good acting and story.
½ April 30, 2016
I kept half-expecting Neil Patrick Harris to turn up and berate Josh Radnor for being so pretentious. To be fair though, while many of the characters are quite pretentious, the movie itself is less so. I found myself comparing it to Garden State - kind of endearingly pretentious, if that makes sense. The Jesse-Zibby pairing is thoughfully handled; this isn't the creepy vanity project I feared it would be upon learning the premise. Zibby comes across as so grown up and articulate that we find ourselves in a dilemma as to whether to condone the relationship, just as Jesse does regarding whether to pursue it. Olsen is captivating as usual, and Jenkins and Janney are both in fine form. It's a small movie about big ideas, and Radnor does a solid job both behind and in front of the camera. Even Zac Efron is pretty good.
April 30, 2016
Great movie, but I can't relate to the artistic romanticism ideals and the too-frequent "books are better than tv" commentary. I've read books, and I've seen tv. I'll choose tv every time. This movie makes me feel unsophisticated and simple, and I hate that. Zac Efron's character was totally hilarious though!
April 20, 2016
finally! a good movie lol I have been on such a bad streak with movies lately I was willing to try anything and this one even though slow at points its so smart and charming and full of great inspirational one liners
Kal X. Attenborough
Super Reviewer
February 8, 2016
A surprisingly decent indie film revolving around different-age relationships, career second-guessing, and literature, lots of literature. However I still can't stop seeing that there's so much of Radnor's previous role of Ted Mosby in Jesse Fischer. Aside from Radnor sort of typecasting himself in his own feature film, Liberal Arts is also a medium for Elizabeth Reaser to prove wonderfully that she can actually act and that she wasn't just that vampire stepmother from Twilight.
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