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Featured DVD Review: Adult World

June 10th, 2014

Adult World - Buy from Amazon

Adult World came out on Video on Demand and in theaters in February. It earned mixed reviews and opened below the Mendoza line. Now that it is hitting the home market, is it worth a second look for those who missed it the first time? And is the DVD worth picking up?

The Movie

Emma Roberts stars as Amy, whom we meet as she is trying to commit suicide by sticking her head in the oven, a la Sylvia Plath. (This is a little freaky, because I looked up that today trying to figure what gas they used to use that made this form of suicide so popular. It's coal gas.) When this doesn't work, she tries another method, but we flash back a year before we figure out if this works.

A year ago Amy was a college student majoring in poetry. Unsurprisingly, a major in poetry isn't helping her get a job and with $90,000 in student loans, she really needs to get some work. She notices a Help Wanted sign in the front of a store with blackened windows. She takes it as a sign and rips it down and walks into the store. Almost immediately she realizes this was a mistake because it is an adult shop. At first she runs away, but after getting turned down at a book store, and having the store owner insult her favorite poet, Rat Billings, she returns. Mary Ann and Stan are the owners of the store, while it's Alex, who gives her the rundown on her job.

When Rat Billings does a book signing in her town, Amy is very enthusiastic when meeting him. She's enthusiastic to the point where she scares him off and he drives away. She's so happy to meet him, she doesn't even realize she's scaring him away. She's less happy when her car gets stolen moments later.

Back at work, Amy meets Rubia, a transvestite. Amy doesn't make a good first impression. She seems to excel at that. However, after getting into a fight with her parents, who called her a child, she decides to run away from home and crashes at Rubia's place and the two become friends. They become such friends that when the pair spot Rat Billings walking down the street, Rubia helps Amy track him down to his house. She's just as scary this time around, but when Rat sarcastically says she's the type of muse he would get, she takes it seriously. And with that, she forces herself into his life.

Whether or not you like Adult World will likely come down to whether or not you like Amy. Amy is young and naïve and for most of the movie, you wait for her to grow up and mature. However, Amy thinks she is wise and worldly, so she makes no attempt to change. This can be very frustrating to watch. On the other hand, you can just go with it. Maybe she will learn in the end. Maybe she won't. In the meantime, laugh at the absurdity of her actions. Fortunately, Emma Roberts gives a great performance in the lead, as does John Cusack. Most of the supporting characters are not very well fleshed out and the script is funny, for the most part, but doesn't cover any new ground. In short, it is worth checking out, but it not a classic.

The Extras

There only extras are 26 minutes of deleted and extended scenes.

The Verdict

More of Adult World works than doesn't work and I laughed enough to recommend it. It isn't wonderful and the DVD doesn't have a lot of extras, so a rental will be enough for most.

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Filed under: Video Review, Adult World, John Cullum, John Cusack, Cloris Leachman, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, Armando Riesco