“Liberal Arts” has opened at the Crossroads Grand Cinema, 4811 E. Grant Rd. Call 520-327-7067 or log onto www.movievalue.com for showtimes. The theater is located behind the Fry’s super market at the Crossroads Festival shopping center, with lots of free parking.
This movie theater usually shows a wide selection of 2nd-run movies at only $3.25/adult with discount prices lowered to only $1.50 on Tuesdays. Plus they serve edamame (salted soy beans) as an alternative snack to candy, what a terrific idea.
I viewed a screener version of this film recently, and really enjoyed the existential story and its clever dialogue.
“Liberal Arts” is about 35 year old Jesse who goes back to his college alma mater in Ohio to attend the retirement party of one of his favorite professors Peter. While there he meets 19 year old college student Elizabeth (“Zibby”). An intellectual attraction develops between them since Jesse is lonely having recently broken up with a girlfriend, and Zibby is looking for someone more mature to connect to.
This movie is more than a romantic comedy, because it is a coming of age story about a college girl, another depressed college student Dean, as well as Jesse (who is a college admissions counselor in New York City). But it is also about aging liberal arts college professors. Since my husband is a 25 year veteran literature professor at the University of AZ, this movie was very relevant to us. But it also reminded me of my own college days at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the lifestyle then: roommates, parties, quest for knowledge, the wondering & worrying about what Life would be like afterwards.
There are lots of very clever dialogue in this movie between the characters. Actor Zac Efron plays “Nat” a young wise guy (sage) just visiting the campus. Nat tells Jesse that “Fortune never smiles on those who say no” in order to convince him to go to explore a nearby party. Character actor Richard Jenkins plays retiring professor Peter very well, as a man who misses his classroom teaching and wonders what impact he had on all those students over 37 years of teaching. Mentor Peter tells Jesse that he still feels like 19 years old despite his older age, as “No one feels like an adult”.
This is a somewhat predictable movie as the viewer expects romance to bloom and it does, but it takes several interesting turns (including an epistolary relationship, unusual nowadays with cell phones, Skype, etc.) and a happy ending which I won’t disclose. Jesse tells depressed/suicidal student Dean to find contentment & grow old, since a lot of the stuff happening to him as a college student is just a “footnote”.
At one point Zibby (a Drama major) enthusiastically says “Everything in life is basically improvised”. How true, coming from a young person. See this movie and find out more about Life, Love, Literature, expectations, change, getting old. Life does happen after college, believe me.
“Liberal Arts” is a witty movie, so don’t miss it and don’t miss out on life either.