Adult World I won’t necessarily call a coming of age film, but more so a wake-up call.

Review (with Spoilers)

Adult World is one of the many films I wanted to see at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival that I was unable to. But, in Adult World’s case, it wasn’t a timing issue, but more so the fact it was sold out. A year later though it has become available, and with Emma Roberts just ending a season, with Evan Peters who is also in the movie, of American Horror Story I thought this film became available at a very opportune time.

Characters & Story

Amy (Emma Roberts) has lead a very privileged life. She grew up in a middle-class family, of which both parents are still together; she is their only child; got good grades in school and was in the 97th percentile when it came to her SATs; and yet the thing she really wants, to become a big time poet, alludes her. Why you may ask? Well, because her writing is sort of, I wouldn’t say shallow, but it seems like her love for the greats influence her work to the point it sounds like she is mimicking more than expressing her own feelings.

And she isn’t the only one who thinks her writing isn’t that good. She spends tons of money sending off her writing, and this is despite student loan debt. So, with her parents cutting her off, she ends up in Adult World, a XXX store run by an elderly couple (one of which is Cloris Leachman) and Alex (Evan Peters). But, while Adult World may pay the bills, a good portion of the film deals with Amy trying to gain the admiration of Rat Billings (John Cusack) who, from the start, shows hardly any interest in her writing. However, through him, she gets her wake-up call, and also with the help of Rubia (Armando Riesco) she finds herself finally learning that all the childhood praise, awards, grades, and etc., don’t mean a damn thing in the adult world.


What I liked about this film the most is the story. There has been a lot of talk about dubbing this generation “Generation ME” and this film sort of shows how the mindset is developed. You set a person up thinking that everything they do needs a plated gold trophy; tell them they are the best, can do anything; and have them believe getting good grades can lead them to success; and then they become an adult and realize that dreams rarely come true. Hell, if you can even get a glimpse of your dream, in reality, you are lucky. And with that, you see Roberts play a 20 something who slowly becomes disenchanted and has that moment a lot of young people have when they transition into the adult world. This includes slight depression as you think your dreams are dying; realizing that the only job you can get, or are qualified for, is the type of place you only end up due to desperation; and that the people you look up to, more often than not, can’t really help you. And, outside of that, what I liked about the film is that the progression is all about her learning to adapt. Which isn’t easy, at all, but thanks to friends, co-workers, and her family to a point, she finds a way to make it.


Leaving only the slightest bit of criticism, which there isn’t too much of. The first issue I had was that Rubia isn’t really given a lot of time to be her own person. For the most part, she is just this sassy transgendered character who plays the role of pushing Amy toward something. And, with this being an indie movie, you sort of expect that with a small cast everyone would be able to be given a meaty role since no one here is an A-list star, or at least anymore. But, really that was my main issue, though, for some, Roberts could get on your nerves since her character is very bougie and seemingly a child who whines at the drop of a hat. That critique though is more aimed at the character than Roberts though.

Overall: TV Viewing

Though a likable film, it is not one which really stands out. For while it has a good cast, good story, and is easy to follow, it just doesn’t have anything which makes it really become something you must see. For while its depiction of Generation ME and the issues of transitioning into adulthood are interesting, it isn’t dramatic enough to really make you emphasize with Roberts, nor funny, really in any way. Hence why I say it is just a TV Viewing type of movie.

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