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Newly single, 35, and uninspired by his job, Jesse Fisher worries that his best days are behind him. But no matter how much he buries his head in a book, life keeps pulling Jesse back. When his favorite college professor invites him to campus to speak at his retirement dinner, Jesse jumps at the chance. He is prepared for the nostalgia of the dining halls and dorm rooms, the parties and poetry seminars; what he doesn't see coming is Zibby, a beautiful, precocious, classical-music-loving sophomore. Zibby awakens scary, exciting, long-dormant feelings of possibility and connection that Jesse thought he had buried forever.
Comedy Drama - This comedy aimed at twenty- and thirty-somethings is a big showcase
for writer-director-star Josh Radnor. Fans of him from his TV work
as well as that of co-star Elizabeth Olsen will have plenty to savor.
Zac Efron only has a tiny role. Language and adult subject matter
make the film inappropriate for kids.
Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Good Liberal Arts is a parfait - a light, enjoyable concoction that goes down easily but doesn't linger.
Roger EbertFull Review Very Good It's the kind of film that appeals powerfully to me; to others, maybe not so much.
USA TodayFull Review Very Good Liberal Arts is a sharp comedy about ideas and stages of personal development that reminds audiences that emotional bonds can be forged without resorting to predictability or cliche.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
Bookish and newly single Jesse Fisher (Josh Radnor) is a university admissions
counselor in his mid-thirties living in New York City who returns to his Ohio
alma mater for a retirement dinner honoring Peter Hoburg (Richard Jenkins), his
favorite English professor.
A chance meeting on campus with 19-year-old Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), a
precocious undergrad who loves classical music, improv and Twilight, awakens in
Jesse long-dormant feelings of possibility and connection. The pair strikes up a
long-distance epistolary romance, prompting Jesse to return to campus for
Although Zibby appears beyond her years, the age-difference between the budding
paramours weights heavily on Jesse, who is torn between moving forward in life,
and holding on to the indelible memories of his own university years.