MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 120 this week

Liberal Arts (2012)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  5 October 2012 (UK)
6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 19,694 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 65 user | 147 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

When 30-something Jesse returns to his alma mater for a professor's retirement party, he falls for Zibby, a college student, and is faced with a powerful attraction that springs up between them.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 24 Jan 2012
 
a list of 34 titles
created 01 Jan 2013
 
a list of 51 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 48 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 48 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Liberal Arts" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Liberal Arts (2012)

Liberal Arts (2012) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Liberal Arts.

User Polls

1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family's island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack's drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris' sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days.

Director: Lynn Shelton
Stars: Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A divorcing couple tries to maintain their friendship while they both pursue other people.

Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Stars: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A clinically depressed teenager gets a new start after he checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward.

Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Stars: Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In order to raise the tuition to send her young son to private school, a mom starts an unusual business -- a biohazard removal/crime scene clean-up service -- with her unreliable sister.

Director: Christine Jeffs
Stars: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A hard-partying high school senior's philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical "nice girl."

Director: James Ponsoldt
Stars: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Kyle Chandler
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A rich kid becomes the self-appointed psychiatrist to the student body of his new high school.

Director: Jon Poll
Stars: Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their father into their family life.

Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Stars: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A delusional young guy strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet.

Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller
50/50 (2011)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.

Director: Jonathan Levine
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son.

Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Cameron Bright, Maria Bello
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Set in Southern California, a father moves his young family to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo.

Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Professor Peter Hoberg
...
...
Ana
...
Dean
...
Susan
...
David
...
Nat
...
Leslie
...
Vanessa
Ned Daunis ...
Eric
Gregg Edelman ...
Robert
Edit

Storyline

Thirty-five year old Jesse Fisher, an admissions officer at a New York City post-secondary institution he who loves English and literature, has somewhat lost his passion in life, which includes recently being unceremoniously dumped by his latest girlfriend, who could no longer be the person to prop him up emotionally. He has a chance to find that passion again when he is invited to the retirement dinner of his second favorite Ohio University college professor, Peter Hoberg, as his time there was when his life held the most passion. Jesse's encounters with five people there may determine if he does find that passion again. They are: Hoberg, who is resisting the notion of retirement; Judith Fairfield, Jesse's favorite professor, although for a different reason than his like of Hoberg; Nat, a free spirit who navigates life at the institution on his own terms; undergraduate student Dean, who Jesse sees as a younger more destructive version of himself; and nineteen year old undergraduate ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes students make the best teachers.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content including references, mature thematic material, and some teen drinking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Amor e Letras  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$27,435 (USA) (14 September 2012)

Gross:

$317,190 (USA) (16 November 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The book that Jesse is reading on his way to the laundromat is "The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy. See more »

Goofs

Just before and after the first hug scene of Jesse and Zibby in the theater, when they are walking together (to and fro), we see a girl in grey top and black pants walking in the same direction twice. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jesse Fisher: You know, high school to college, it can be a big transition, especially if you're not from the city, so - so we try yo help out with that transition, in a number of ways.
See more »


Soundtracks

I Want a Kenyon Man
Words and Music by Maxwell Budd Long
Vocal Arrangement by Benjamin Locke
Performed by Calle Voce, featuring Carling Fitzsimmons, Caroline Eichler, Ananda Plunkett, Joanna Tomassoni, Robyn Rae Stype, Ellen Kaufman, Julia Dopp, Ally Schmaling
Produced by Marc Lacuesta
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Great movie for college students and grads
7 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

*This review was previously submitted as an assignment in my film class, which is the reason for its formality and structure.*

"Liberal Arts," written and directed by Josh Radnor, deals with the often-crushing reality of post-college life and the pedestal on which the seemingly idyllic college years are placed. Though the film often runs the risk of becoming an intellectually preachy vanity piece, its genuinely smart writing and relentlessly likable cast elevates it to an honest, enjoyable study of college and its aftermath.

Radnor stars as 35-year-old Jesse, a college recruiter with an unmarketable English/history degree who is nostalgic for his own days at a picturesque Ohio university. When an old professor (Richard Jenkins) invites him back to campus for his retirement dinner, Jesse finds himself drawn to smart, peppy student Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), despite his discomfort at the age difference between them. While exploring their latent relationship at his alma mater, Jesse encounters his most influential former professor (Allison Janney), a clinically depressed student (John Magaro), and some realizations about his own aims in life.

Given the subject matter and setting, it's expected that the characters will pride themselves on their intellect and sophistication, and this gives way to some contrived, artsy dialogue, such as a letter montage (never easy to pull off) between Jesse and Zibby in which they wax poetic about classical music, which sounds smart in writing but comes off as unconvincing and pretentious when spoken, accompanied heavy-handedly by poignant New York scenery. However, the witty, laugh-out-loud dialogue usually keeps the film and characters from feeling like they take themselves too seriously, making determinedly highbrow scenes like this clash uncomfortably with the generally self-aware tone.

Radnor writes his character into enough glamorous situations (all the significant female characters sleep with him or try to at some point) and makes him sound over-educated enough that the film could have easily felt like a shameless vanity piece, but he plays Jesse so affably that there's not much room to mind. It's quite believable that his character would attract even young girls, with his naturally youthful looks and self-deprecating charm. Olsen does well with an even more challenging character; Zibby comes dangerously close to the "manic pixie dream girl" archetype of indies, but Olsen plays her with a sweet innocence that never feels fake and, when called on for dramatic moments, she is every bit a real college girl – wounded, vulnerable, and ultimately clueless about where she's going in life. Zac Efron flits in and out as a wisdom-dispensing stoner who may or may not be a figment of Jesse's imagination, offering some of the best laughs in the film.

Arguably the best performances, though, are given by Jenkins and Magaro. Jenkins plays the professor every student wants; like the film itself, he doesn't take himself too seriously but is utterly devoted to the school. He delivers some of the best acting in the film when he pleads for his job back mere days after retiring. Magaro is strangely touching as a college student perhaps closer to the norm than the Zibbies of the world: miserable in school, there solely to please his family, and constantly on the brink of a mental breakdown. In his limited screen time, he creates an oddly heart-winning character despite his sullen demeanor.

"Liberal Arts" is an enjoyable, cleverly written film that should strike a note with college students current and former. The witty writing and earnest cast make its few pretentious missteps easy to brush off affectionately.


48 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Zac Efron Terrible Casting? geordiewatson532
Book that Dean is obsessed by? wendthepend
Is Zac Efron in this movie? dbwilyumz
Filming in Columbus Ohio! KKennedy425
LOVED this film! PlantWaterer
I don't get it.... the lemonade in desert scene andre_te
Discuss Liberal Arts (2012) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?