Rated: R for language and some drug use. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: May 8, 2015 Released by: Radius/TWC
An increasingly clichéd comedy is still somewhat likable and heartfelt though helmer Ross Katz (a veteran producer of quality indies like Lost In Translation) does his best to the well paced earlier sections endure latter unseemly, if dry dramatic machinations.
A metaphorical, sentimental Adult Beginners stars Comedy Central favorite Nick Kroll, Rose Byrne (Neighbors, Bridesmaids) and Bobby Cannavale (good in the Al Pacino dramedy Danny Collins). It may recall The Skeleton Twins (with Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader) in terms of motif and narrative, but isn't nearly as fresh or poignant.
Kroll's Jake is an arrogant, ambitious businessman whose Google investment goes awry (losing his friends and money) in the process. The actor offers a snarky ebullient, if increasingly sympathetic turn for professional humiliation returning to his childhood home to live with partially estranged sister Justine (Byrne), her contractor husband (Cannavale). The set-up has the parents giving a troubling and pressed Jake the task of being a nanny to their 3-year-old.
So, scenarists Jeff Cox and Liz Flahive are able to provide amusing rapport for Jake and the toddler, especially when an unfolding stroller doesn't work on the way to the playground. Katz provides the support for Byrne and Cannavale to excel in their characterizations, the latter with a snippy charisma and the former with a sweetness in her warmth and frustration. Jane Krakowski's crooning swim instructor is nearly a true scene-stealer that help gives the film its title. The journey from entropy, though, is where Adult Beginners is going in a conventional, yet affecting way which Byrne and Kroll make as real as their sticky milieu seems to be.