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Parents' Guide to

Adult World

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

So-so coming-of-age film set in porn rental store.

Movie R 2014 97 minutes
Adult World Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This is a passably funny coming-of-age movie that may resonate among older teens contemplating college -- or what to major in -- and perplexed about what they want to be when they grow up. Growing up, however, doesn't seem all that impressive here, unless one's dream is to become an aging hipster writer who's beset by fans who still want to discuss the brilliance of a book you wrote decades ago. Cusack is razor-sharp in his role as Rat, his bon mots cutting right to the core, like a Lloyd Dobbler gone cynical.

But what exactly is the film's point of view about the titular adult world? That you can't be a poet in it? (Many an aspiring writer and filmmaker have told movie-watchers this. So: duh.) That you can't look down on people who work in a sex shop? (Again: duh.) What magic the film has is in Amy's relationship with her newfound friends and, more so, Rat, but the epiphanies she has are either obvious or superficial, robbing the film of much of its potential. See it for the laughs, but not for complexity.

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