Adult Beginners

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A bottomed-out narcissist (Nick Kroll) is forced to temporarily move in with his semi-estranged sister (Rose Byrne) and brother-in-law (Bobby Canavale) and play nanny to his infant nephew. With a director at the starting gate (Ross Katz), flanked by a pair of rudimentary screenwriters (Jeff “Blades of Glory” Cox and Nurse Jackie story editor Liz Flahive) and funding from the league of mumblecore bush-leaguers (the Duplass Brothers), what chance did Beginners have of being even remotely adult in nature? The acting – other than Byrne, who again outclasses the pack playing Wendy to a bunch of Peter Pans – never rises above that of a typical snarky network sitcom. What little plot advancement there is comes courtesy of sheer happenstance: butt-dialed calls, job offers while returning to a play date to fetch a forgotten toy, etc. Without one sympathetic character in the bunch, it’s pretty much 90 minutes in the company of assholes — though if pressed, it’s certain the filmmakers would disagree. (2015) — Scott Marks

Rated R | 1 hour, 27 minutes
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