Review Fix Exclusive 2013 Tribeca Film Festival Coverage: Adult World Review: A College Story for the Real World

The depiction of a rambunctious twenty-something with a passion for poetry draws similarities to the archetypal tortured writer. A new coming-of-“Adult World” at the Tribeca Film Festival will effectively bring viewers back to that grey crossroads between youth and adulthood.

Written by Andy Cochran and directed by Scott Coffey, the petite and feisty Emma Roberts plays persistent Amy Anderson. Nobody has given Amy constructive criticism, enabling her to believe she is a better poet than she actually is. As her student loan debt accrues by the day, Amy chooses to put her money into poetry contests in hopes that she will soon get recognized and published.

Evidently fed up with Amy’s shenanigans, her parents force her to seek paid employment. Amy gets a clerk job at “Adult World,” the local pornographic video store where she meets some interesting characters along the way. The older and experienced John Cullum and Cloris Leachman own the store which sells everything from videos to inflatable dolls to toys. Alex (Evan Peters) is the manager that looks out for Amy yet bickers with her frequently. The film heavily relies on humor from a welcome addition to the cast — Rubia (Armando Riesco). She is a transvestite worker who is flamboyant, flashy and steals the scene every time she uses her quick witty retorts.

Amy meets author Rat Billings (John Cusack) whom she has idolized for quite some time. In a stalker-like fashion, Amy hounds the solemn and dry humored writer to become his protégé. He is forced to deal with Amy’s unforgiving tenacity until they come up with an agreement. She will clean his house and instead of a paycheck, Billings will pay her in mentorship.

The film, shot in beautiful and snowy Syracuse, New York, leaves a few lingering questions. It is not explained why Amy is so oblivious of the world around her or how she possesses such a juvenile perception of intimacy and life. Still holding onto her virginity at age 23, Amy seems a little socially awkward and out of touch with reality. To exemplify said awkward moments, she criticizes customers’ purchases at the video store. Roberts is a natural at showing Amy’s timid but hyperactive personality.

Rubia and Billings provide most of the laugh out loud moments in response to Robert’s several immature outbursts.

Only a diva and a has-been author could deal with this girl.

Cusack gives Amy a wake-up call she didn’t expect (but direly needed.) It is hard to sympathize for the young poet because she has an unrelenting passion for her craft. The audience knows she will stop at nothing to get published no matter how many doors are shut in her face. As Amy and Alex carry on their banter as time progresses, what ensues will come as no surprise. They form an intimate relationship that thankfully matures Robert’s character.

Even with college degrees, undergraduate and graduate students are finding it challenging to attain jobs in their prospective fields. Amy has her Bachelor’s degree in poetry and must resort to using her car insurance money to enter poetry contests. Job scarcity is a very real and existing issue that is heavily presented in the film.

“Adult World” is a film that college students will relate to. It makes light of a serious problem graduates face once entering the “adult world.” With humor, candid acting and a likable cast, this is a worldly film that people of all ages can take something away from.

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