In the movie, “Liberal Arts,” Jessie Fisher ( Josh Radnor) plays a 35-year old college admissions counselor who is facing middle age. He is living in New York city, and life doesn’t seem to be going his way.
We learn that Jessie is a sensitive type who savor books, poetry, and classical music. He goes back to attend the retirement party of his college professor Professor Peter Hoburg (Richard Jenkins). He is attracted to Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen) who is fresh-faced sophomore, who lives in a dormitory. Jessie is longing for the campus life anyway, and is attracted to her.
They have an old fashioned romance. It starts out with her giving him a CD of classical music. They correspond via the US mail. How sweet is that?
The movie is about accepting life, and the aging process. You can’t go backwards, you have to move forward.
The retiring professor, (Hoburg) tells Jessie, “we always feel like we’re 19 although we may look different on the outside.” (Being a baby boomer that particular line resounded)
Nat (Zac Effron) plays a new age type who is past the college age, but at least is enjoying himself. Jessie and Zac befriend each other. Their scenes provide a little comedic relief. Effron does a great job.
There is a troubled college student (John Magaro)Jessie befriends who is just plain unhappy with everything, and bi-polar. Maybe he represents a lot of people who just don’t try to look at what they do have, or easily fit in to society.
Professor Judith Fairfield( Allison Janney) is Jessie’s former romantic literature professor. Janney plays her to the hilt. Her performance is one of the best in the movie. She is also aging, and maybe not adjusting in the best way.
Without giving too much away, I would suggest you see this movie if you like too think and reflect about life. Also, see it, if you value good writing, directing and acting. Radnor did all three. Don’t go see it, if you’re the type of person who likes action, blood and guts.
Maybe it is a little too wordy in places, but
People of all ages should be able to relate to this movie. I found it Intelligent, charming, and sweet.
- Radnor’s “Liberal Arts” (imamovienerd.wordpress.com)
- ‘Liberal Arts’ is nostalgic, yet fresh (tuftsdaily.com)
- Liberal Arts: New Movie From HIMYM’s Josh Radnor (connectwithyourteens.net)
- ‘Liberal Arts’ review: back to college (sfgate.com)