Adult Beginners

2015 | 92 minutes | Rated R

There are worse comedies than Adult Beginners, but only so many that are less funny. On the plus side, producer-turned-director Ross Katz's theatrical debut reflects the current economic climate, so it may play better in the future as a snapshot of 2015. Nick Kroll (Kroll Show) plays Jake, a Manhattan entrepreneur who invents a Google Glass-like device for which he solicits funds from friends (Joel McHale, Mike Birbiglia) in hopes that it will make them rich. Beyond the fact that the world already has enough Glassholes, his plan fails spectacularly. With nowhere else to go, he moves in with his pregnant sister, Justine (Rose Byrne), her husband, Danny (Bobby Cannavale, Byrne's real-life partner), and a 3-year-old who is so rambunctious that a child psychologist might be in order. Since money is tight, they're installing sconces to make their suburban home more attractive to buyers, leading to repetition of the word "sconce" as an especially clunky punch line. And so it goes until the end, by which point Jake has been sufficiently humbled. The actors hit their marks, but Katz fails to exploit their best qualities (Cannavale, in particular, can be hilarious given better material). Those who crack up at the word "sconce," however, have a real treat in store.

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Film Credits
Director
Ross Katz
Cast
Rose Byrne, Nick Kroll, Bobby Cannavale, Joel McHale, Caleb Paddock, Matthew Paddock, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Paula Garcés, Josh Charles, Jane Krakowski, Bobby Moynihan, Mike Birbiglia