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Parents' Guide to

Adult Life Skills

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Quirky dramedy explores loss, family, moving forward.

Movie NR 2019 96 minutes
Adult Life Skills Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Whittaker gives a touching lead performance in this sweet if uneven dramedy about a woman on the cusp of 30 who's not ready to grow up -- nor let go of her late twin. Director Rachel Tunnard's feature film debut, which was filmed in 2016, has gained traction because her star is now the buzzed-about latest incarnation of Doctor Who. And while it's not an easy sell outside of indie-loving audiences -- it's not funny enough to be a flat-out comedy, and it's just a tad too quirky to be mainstream -- the movie is offbeat without being totally twee, and Whittaker makes Anna empathetic despite her obvious emotional issues and shortcomings.

The thumb-puppet sequences (Anna pretends her thumbs are astronauts on a mission that's about to end in total destruction) are surprisingly touching, as is the fact that Anna keeps envisioning her brother talking to her through key moments. The subplot with young Clint is a bit too on the nose (a fellow grieving, imaginative kid in search of companionship), but Myers proves himself a capable young actor. The best parts of the movie are when Anna is engaging either her best friend, Fiona (Rachael Deering), or her mum and grandma. The interaction between the actresses is genuine and heartfelt -- a reminder of why more movies should star women of all ages.

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