A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Adult Beginners is an indie dramedy that centers on a successful tech entrepreneur who's about to get rich -- but in the process has become a horrible person. Over the course of the story, he loses everything and starts to learn why personal relationships can be worth more than a successful IPO. So he's not exactly a positive role model, but he does grow and learn a few important lessons. Expect a fair bit of drinking (bars, parties, etc.), as well as drug use (both pot and cocaine) and frequent swearing (especially variants of "f--k" and "s--t"), as well as adults having inappropriate conversations in front of children and some kissing/implied sex.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Jake (Nick Kroll) is an entrepreneur on the verge of hitting it big -- until his tech company implodes seemingly overnight, leaving him with no money and few friends. Despondent, he returns to his childhood home, where his sister (Rose Byrne) now lives with her husband (Bobby Cannavale) and their young child. With nothing else to do, Jake becomes a "manny" to his nephew, despite a total lack of experience with kids. After moping for a while about what he's lost, Jake starts to realize that in reconnecting with his family, he's also gaining something important: the human connections he had neglected in pursuit of fame and fortune.
Is it any good?
It has a simple premise and a worthwhile lesson, but it's not especially original and doesn't try to distinguish itself from other dramedies in which a stuck-up jerk learns the importance of family. The saving grace is the cast -- the three main characters all work well together, especially Byrne as a bored spouse with an unsatisfying job and loads of pent-up resentment. Guest appearances by some crack comedians -- including Bobby Moynihan, Joel McHale, Jane Krakowski, and Josh Charles -- also liven up a film that's sorely in need of some momentum.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether any of the characters in Adult Beginners are intended to be role models. Do they do anything admirable? Are they realistic?
What does Jake learn when he shifts gears from being a tech executive to being a live-in "manny" to his young nephew? Can you think of other movies or TV shows with similar themes?
What do you think about the relationship between siblings Jake and Justine? How does it change during the course of the movie? Teens: How is your relationship with your siblings (if you have them) similar or different?
- In theaters: April 24, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: August 4, 2015
- Cast: Bobby Cannavale, Rose Byrne, Nick Kroll
- Director: Ross Katz
- Studio: Radius TWC
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language and some drug use
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
Our editors recommend
For kids who love quirky movies
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch