out of 100
Metascore®Mixed or average reviews Based on a weighted average of all critic review scores.
A sample of reviews from critics across the country.
Olsen, moody and apple-cheeked and intellectually avid, proves a true star: She turns being wiser than her years into an authentic generational state.
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There is a word to explain why this particular film so appealed to me. Reader, that word is "escapism." If you understand why I used the word "reader" in just that way, you are possibly an ideal viewer for this movie.
An artful blend of tenderness and sharp, clear-eyed observations. Its characters talk like real people -- who also happen to be smart, appealing and thoughtful.
Liberal Arts is a parfait - a light, enjoyable concoction that goes down easily but doesn't linger. The movie is great "in the moment" but may be difficult to recall with any specificity after time has elapsed.
The bookish group at the heart of this talky film is having such a grand time trading tart exchanges their mood proves infectious. The sparring helps offset some of the contrivances that make Liberal Arts less buttoned up than it should be - so an A for effort and a C for execution.
A coming-of-middle-age comedy running on somewhat less than a full tank, Liberal Arts possesses enough comedic moments to approach crowd-pleasing status.
Still, in the central relationship, the writer-director shows an understanding of human interaction that marks his second feature as a quantum leap beyond his stilted debut, "Happythankyoumoreplease."
In its lesser moments, of which there are more, Liberal Arts calls to mind more the spirit of an alumni magazine, so bathed in nostalgia for academia that you expect autumn leaves to flutter down to the theater floor.
This makes the film feel perilously close to widescreen sitcom, as do montages of New York set to Beethoven's Sixth Symphony.
The harder Mr. Radnor strains to make you love his alter ego, the more resistant you become.
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