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Adult World (2013)

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A naive college graduate, Amy, who believes she's destined to be a great poet, begrudgingly accepts a job in a shop while she pursues a mentorship with reclusive writer Rat Billings.

Director:

Scott Coffey

Writer:

Andy Cochran (as Andrew Cochran)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emma Roberts ... Amy
Summer Shelton ... Creative Writing Professor
Chris Riggi ... Josh
Shannon Woodward ... Candace
Catherine Lloyd Burns ... Sheryl
Reed Birney ... Todd
Manu Gargi Manu Gargi ... Mr. Shah
Patricia Squire ... Old Blind Woman (as Pat Squire)
Cloris Leachman ... Mary Ann
Scott Coffey ... Bookstore Owner
John Cullum ... Stan
Evan Peters ... Alex
Joshua Barry Ward Joshua Barry Ward ... Customer Rick (as Joshua B. Ward)
Justin Nappi ... Customer Man
John Cusack ... Rat Billings
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Storyline

A naive college graduate, Amy, who believes she's destined to be a great poet, begrudgingly accepts a job in a shop while she pursues a mentorship with reclusive writer Rat Billings.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When life gets hard, rise to the occasion.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 February 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Akatallilo gia anilikous See more »

Filming Locations:

Syracuse, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,368, 16 February 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$16,740, 9 March 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ritchie Hoffman auditioned for the role of "Manny." The role went to Evan Peters and the character's name was changed to "Alex." See more »

Goofs

As Rat is giving advice/encouragement to Amy through the open window after she returns his poems, he rises from his crouched position to stand while he is speaking. Rat pauses and the scene cuts to a front shot of Amy, but he is back in a crouched position. When the shot returns to a front view of Rat, he is standing again. See more »

Quotes

Amy: How about a little advice before I depart?
Rat Billings: Love... love until you hate. Then learn to hate your love. Then forgive your hate for loving it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Chelsea Lately: Episode #8.17 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Memories Of The Future
Written by Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry
Performed by Handsome Furs
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Delightfully out of the box (no pun intended)
18 January 2014 | by StevePulaskiSee all my reviews

There is a scene in Scott Coffey's Adult World involving a transgender male and a devout and somewhat psychotic poet riding a bike made for two chasing after an elusive poet who is speeding away in a car so that the psychotic poet can make another attempt at talking to her biggest influence and showing just how weirdly intrusive she can be.

Stating that scene and that scene only to a person would make them think said film is nothing but a desperate little comedy, when in reality, Adult World is another one of those films that is actually wise and thoughtful but dressed up in stupid people's clothes. Seems I'm running into this unfortunate predicament a lot. The problem with this kind of filmmaking tactic, whether it's intentional or unintentional, is that it has the potential of alienating those who need to see the film the most.

The film focuses on a recent college graduate named Amy (Emma Roberts, whom I never tired of seeing). A poetry major who has racked up over $90k in student loans, Amy wishes she could make a living verbalizing whatever comes to her mind and carry on with a relatively safe but fulfilling life. However, reality - and her parents - prohibit this dream from happening, so Amy must get a real job, and with little options, she accepts a job at Adult World, the local provider of vibrators, sex dolls, pornographic movies, sex toys, lube, etc.

Amy is repulsed at first, as she's always kind of sheltered herself from the icky realms of human pleasure and sexual exploration, but she quickly befriends the charming Alex (Evan Peters), who shares some of her interests as well as her circumstances. Amy, however, is desperate in trying to win the attention of Rat Billings (John Cusack), one of her favorite poets who has recently come to town. She pesters Rat, constantly invading his privacy and bugging him, until he offers her a position as his assistant at Syracuse University.

The three main actors rarely misstep in their performances, however, the character of Amy is definitely skating on thin ice in terms of acceptability. Amy, when by herself or with Alex, is fine, but when she's in the company of Rat, she becomes obsessive, hyper, and borderline psychotic. The problem with that is not only is that this side of her is annoying but it lessens her realism as this fanatical behavior is not the kind you'd think she'd be doing. It's almost like she suffers from multiple-personality disorder.

And again, there's a sort of convention to the material, despite the film's characters being relatively unique. Then there's a transgender character that is nothing more than a character to have to muster up some shock amongst audience members. But the thing that sets Adult World apart from other dramas is that it doesn't hesitate to explore the blessing and the curse that is being creative in contemporary America. In a country that is advanced predominately by scientific, mathematical, and technological milestones and achievements, opportunities, let alone viable ones, for liberal arts, poets, English, or writers are scarce. It's almost as if in an increasingly complex world, those who attempt to define it aren't wanted.

It's a sad fact and Adult World pleasantly recognizes it, giving us a likable protagonist who is good at what she does - confident, amiable, and always friendly - but burdened by a lack of opportunities. She has bravely majored in poetry, but is now facing reality in that the only potentially-lucrative job for her is a published author, but good luck getting someone to read your work. And, oh yeah, here's a bill near six-figures for that college education too.

I plan on attending college this fall as an English major with a minor in a business field, perhaps marketing. I'm completely unsure of where those fields will get me and those like me are probably equally unsure. Adult World is a film for those types of people to see - people who know what they want to be, know what they like, and have found a passion at a young age, but are tragically low on opportunities.

Starring: Emma Roberts, John Cusack, and Evan Peters. Directed by: Scott Coffey.


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