'Adult Beginners' Movie Review - Rolling Stone
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Adult Beginners

A broke yuppie moves in with his sister in this gentle dysfunctional-sibling comedy

Rose Byrne and Nick KrollRose Byrne and Nick Kroll

Nick Kroll and Rose Byrne in 'Adult Beginners.'


Step up for a rare comedy that charms its way into your heart instead of bashing you into submission. Nick Kroll plays Jake, one of those fast-talking Manhattan suits who go broke financing the latest in wearable technology. So Jake crawls home to his pregnant older sister, Justine (Rose Byrne), who lives in the burbs with her cheating husband, Danny (Bobby Cannavale), and their three-year-old son.

It’s a sitcom setup that husband-and-wife screenwriters Jeff Cox (Blades of Glory) and Liz Flahive (Nurse Jackie) manage to (almost) cover with a fresh coat of funny and touching. Think of the sibling rivalry between Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig in The Skeleton Twins, minus the suicidal depression. Director Ross Katz (HBO’s Taking Chance) shows a sure hand with actors. All three leads come up aces. Comedy Central staple Kroll puts an actor’s sting into his scenes, especially with the reliably terrific Cannavale. And Byrne is sensational, finding the broken places under Justine’s rebellious hot-mom surface. Nothing groundbreaking here, but there’s something to be said for a fun time that won’t let the laughs go down too easy.

In This Article: Nick Kroll


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