Feature

Adult World

An aspiring poet hounds her literary idol.

Directed by Scott Coffey
(R)

**

John Cusack gets his “best role in years” in this minor comedy, said Andrew O’Hehir in Salon.com. Proving again that he deserves better than oddball supporting roles, the onetime teen-comedy king finds the wistful soul in a caustic university poetry instructor who’s fending off the attentions of a 22-year-old striver who wants to be his protégée. Neither character is fully likable, but “it’s the peculiar, tense relationship between the two” that makes the film rewarding. As a self-appointed rising genius, Emma Roberts proves she can “play annoying to the hilt,” said Christine N. Ziemba in PasteMagazine.com. Though we never like Roberts’s needy naïf, we eventually at least take pity on her. That’s not enough to elevate the film above such weaknesses as a half-baked subplot about Roberts’s low-paying job in an adult entertainment store, said Ella Taylor in NPR.org. But filmmaker Scott Coffey at least shows real affection for deluded dreamers. His “amiable, occasionally sharp-eyed movie” might help a lot of art house viewers understand that, however lofty their ambitions, “not everyone has what it takes.”

Recommended

Would the U.S. really defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion?
President Biden and Xi Jinping.
Briefing

Would the U.S. really defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion?

Russia seeing 'localized successes' in Ukraine, growing criticism at home
New graves in Severodonetsk
Some men just want to watch the world burn

Russia seeing 'localized successes' in Ukraine, growing criticism at home

20 nations sending Ukraine newer, more high-tech weapons, Pentagon says
Lloyd Austin
The big guns

20 nations sending Ukraine newer, more high-tech weapons, Pentagon says

Russian diplomat resigns over war in Ukraine
United Nations flag.
quittin' time

Russian diplomat resigns over war in Ukraine

Most Popular

John Oliver has some complaints about Subway, the sandwich chain
John Oliver
Johnsplaining

John Oliver has some complaints about Subway, the sandwich chain

7 toons about replacement theory conspiracists
Editorial Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about replacement theory conspiracists

Analyst: Russian forces are 'bludgeoning their way through' Severodonetsk
A destroyed bridge in Severodonetsk.
war in ukraine

Analyst: Russian forces are 'bludgeoning their way through' Severodonetsk