This is a cracker of a movie. Adult Beginners stars Rose Byrne, Nick Kroll and Bobby Cannavale and from start to end it doesn't miss a beat. Before I get into the nitty gritty of the plot, I'll give a quick bit of background. It was made by Duplass Brothers Productions Films with Mark Duplass. He spent seven seasons on The League with Nick Kroll. Kroll is not just in the movie but also wrote the story that the movie is based on. That's important for anybody who was ever addicted to The League because both of them are epic in it so it immediately bodes well for Adult Beginners.
It's a small budget movie that was given limited release via Video On Demand in the US. To be fair that doesn't really do it justice. Hopefully now that it is on Netflix it will garner a much wider audience. The plot revolves around Jake, a tech investor who loses all of his money. He has to move back in with his pregnant sister (Rose Byrne from Juliet, Naked), her husband and three year old son in their childhood home. Leading two very different lives, their relationship is good but slightly strained. Jake must come to terms with his huge change in lifestyle especially as his only mean of employment is to become a manny to his nephew Teddy.
Don't be fooled by this premise. This isn't a romcom with a cutsie pie script. It has an emotionally intelligent and mature screenplay and does really well in depicting the trials and tribulations of adults who are brilliantly cast and really bounce off each other.
Yes it is ultimately a sweet film about marriage and family dynamics and while nothing major happens it is a really enjoyable movie that deserves more credit than the 47% rating it has been given on Rotten Tomatoes. Nick Kroll is, as always, brilliantly droll, and along with Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale, they carry this movie expertly. It was the perfect tonic for a Sunday afternoon.
Update: Unfortunately, Adult Beginners is no longer available on Netflix. You can rent it on Amazon but it is not included with the Prime subscription.