27 user 49 critic

Adult Beginners (2014)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 24 April 2015 (USA)
2:15 | Trailer

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A young, narcissistic entrepreneur crashes and burns on the eve of his company's big launch. With his entire life in total disarray, he leaves Manhattan to move in with his estranged ... See full summary »


Ross Katz


Nick Kroll (story), Jeff Cox (story) | 3 more credits »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Rose Byrne ... Justine
Nick Kroll ... Jake
Bobby Cannavale ... Danny
Joel McHale ... Hudson
Caleb Paddock ... Teddy (as Caleb and Matthew Paddock)
Matthew Paddock ... Teddy (as Caleb and Matthew Paddock)
Paula Garcés ... Blanca
Caitlin FitzGerald ... Kat
Jane Krakowski ... Miss Jenn
Mike Birbiglia ... Braden
David Bernon ... Chuck
Bobby Moynihan ... Paul
Seth Barrish ... Doctor
Jason Mantzoukas ... Herman
Cara Cooper Cara Cooper ... Real Estate Agent


A young, narcissistic entrepreneur crashes and burns on the eve of his company's big launch. With his entire life in total disarray, he leaves Manhattan to move in with his estranged pregnant sister, brother-in-law and 3-year-old nephew in the suburbs - only to become their nanny. Written by Toronto International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some people just can't handle growing up


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some drug use. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

24 April 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brother's Keeper See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,657, 26 April 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$104,415, 31 May 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The movie mocks the film "The Vow" while the director Ross Katz ends up doing "The Choice" as his follow-up movie, a Nicholas Sparks' novel based rom-com of the same genre. See more »


When Rose Byrne is drinking a glass of wine with one of her young students (who is taking an exam), the student asks for a glass of wine jokingly, and the waitress brings it. The wine glasses constantly change positions between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Jake: Hi, I'm Jake Winton. If you're receiving this video, it means that you have invested in "MINDS i". It also means that we have raised $2.5 million to start production on the sickest piece of wearable technology on the market today.
See more »


References The Vow (2012) See more »


Follow the Rainbow
Performed by Tom Quick
See more »

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User Reviews

"Adult Beginners"... a good description for the people who made this movie.
3 May 2015 | by CleveMan66See all my reviews

Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale have been dating since 2012 and have made three films together in that time. She's the Australian beauty known for the "X-Men" and "Insidious" films, as well as 2014's "Neighbors" and 2011's "Bridesmaids". He's the tall, dark and handsome actor who played Al Pacino's estranged son in "Danny Collins" (2015), Cate Blanchett's would-be suitor in "Blue Jasmine" (2011) and did a season each of "Nurse Jackie" and "Boardwalk Empire". Together, Byrne and Cannavale have made 2014's "Annie" and 2015's spring releases "Adult Beginners" and "Spy". Now, you may be wondering why I've devoted the opening paragraph of my review of "Adult Beginners" (R, 1:30) to the relationship between two of the movie's stars. Well, it's because that's the most interesting thing about this movie. Nick Kroll (who has had a recurring role on "Parks and Recreation" and has his own show on Comedy Central) came up with the story, and stars in "Adult Beginners" as Jake, a self-centered tech guru whose career gets off track, leading him to move in with his sister, Justine (Byrne) and her husband, Danny (Cannavale). Justine, who's expecting her second child, and Danny, who's building the young family a new home, let Jake earn his keep (and saves them some money) by providing day care for their 3-year-old son, Teddy (played by twins Caleb and Matthew Paddock). Jake is predictably inept at taking care of the lad, but he isn't the only adult in the film with an underdeveloped sense of self. Along with Jake, Justine and Danny also feel and act like overgrown kids, or… adult beginners.

The film's title actually refers to the fact that Jake and Justine never learned to swim, but they end up taking little Teddy to a swim class taught by Miss Jenn (Jane Krakowski), who encourages them to take an adult beginners swim class. Other familiar faces that pop up in minor roles include Josh Charles ("The Good Wife") as Jake's prospective employer, Joel McHale ("Community") as Jake's shallow best friend and Bobby Moynihan ("SNL"), who plays a socially awkward former high school classmate of Jake's. After riding a pretty steep learning curve, and with the help of fellow nanny, Blanca (Paula Garcés), Jake starts to get the hang of being Teddy's nanny, but being in his sister's home for a period of months exposes him to some family drama that he would rather have avoided, but has to deal with.

"Adult Beginners" wants to be a poignant reflection on what it means to be an adult, and make us laugh in the process. It fails on both counts. The conversations and scenes meant to deliver the movie's message are few, far between and not really integral to the other goings-on. The jokes are not few and far between, but they're also not very funny. The cast member who comes closest to amusing is Moynihan, but only in two brief scenes. The three main adult characters are unsympathetic and the actors playing them are uncharismatic. Cannavale, who has done some great work over the past couple years, unconvincingly bounces back and forth between clueless and angry. Byrne, whose career has had as many misses as hits, was funnier in "Neighbors" – and that ain't saying much. Kroll sleepwalks through his role, a self-absorbed sad-sack, a la Adam Sandler, but not as entertaining. McHale and Krakowski could have brightened things up a bit, but instead are relegated to thankless roles that make almost no use of their considerable comedic talents.

The scenes depicting Jake's struggles with his new position as glorified babysitter are uninspired and the other gags involving kids aren't only unfunny, they're offensive, that is, unless you find pregnant women getting drunk, couples having sex while toddlers are left to fend for themselves and frequent swearing in front of small children to be humorous. And speaking of the language in this movie, I'm no prude and I think that some well-placed cussing can even be pretty funny, but this script drops f-bombs and other colorful words like they're going out of style. The foul language doesn't advance the plot, doesn't make the movie any funnier and seems to have pointlessly saddled this film with an unnecessarily restrictive MPAA rating. This film gives us too little of what could have made it entertaining, too much of what distracted from its potential and makes me think the title would be better used to describe the people who made this movie. "Adult Beginners" gets a "D".

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