Liberal Arts is like Woody's Midnight in Paris – without the wit
01:23 GMT, 5 October 2012
Liberal Arts (12A)
Verdict: B Minus
Josh Radnor and Elizabeth Olsen star in Liberal Arts
This is an amiable, literate but prosaic U.S. indie movie.
A nostalgic 35-year-old academic (played by writer-director-producer Josh Radnor) returns to his old college, contacts two former English professors (a kindly Richard Jenkins and an acerbic Allison Janney) and falls for a mature undergraduate, luminously played by Elizabeth Olsen.
It’s one of those bittersweet movies that can’t decide whether it’s comedy or drama. The message is that life goes on, and you can never go back — which is fair enough.
But Woody Allen made the same point much more entertainingly in Midnight In Paris.
Like too many low-budget movies, it consists of one talky, two-hander scene after another.
The supporting actors are excellent, but they do highlight the leading man’s lack of charisma.
It’s reminiscent of mid-period Woody (Annie Hall, Manhattan), but with less wit and talent.