Adult Beginners Review

On the eve of his career going to the next level, Jake (Nick Kroll) makes a single massive misstep and his life is in the dirt and he is ruined.  With nowhere left to turn, he heads home to stay with his sister Justine (Rose Byrne) and her husband Danny (Bobby Cannavale).  They agree to let him stay, as long as he helps out with their three year old son Teddy.  On the surface both Justine and Danny seem to have it together, but he soon realizes that family life is just as stressful as the big city corporate life and learns to find balance in order to truly be happy.

While it borrows from some very familiar themes and movies, Adult Beginners is a cute, easy going family dramedy. Moving from the producer’s chair into the director’s chair, Ross Katz shows us a uniquely toned movie that’s just as funny as it is sensitive.  The narrative moves crisply and he never leans on any kind of storytelling tropes or clichés, and the script from Jeff Cox and Elizabeth Flahive feels genuine from beginning to end.  Kroll makes for a surprisingly strong leading man role, while Byrne continues her comedic winning streak that can’t be ignored.

Adult Beginners is a fun effort and that’s all it needs or wants to be.

Read our interview with Nick Kroll where he talks about making Adult Beginners and what’s next for him. 


This review was originally published as part of our TIFF 2014 coverage, which is why it’s quoted in the trailer below!

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