Comedy Central’s Nick Kroll is a funny guy, no doubt about that. But his performances, on The League especially, are driven by a well-written and developed character. This is the main drawback of Kroll’s new indie flick, Adult Beginners. As the title suggests, Kroll plays a 40-something man-boy who is forced to return to the house he was raised in.
Kroll plays Jake, a digital entrepreneur, who comes up with some Google Glass like creation, only to lose the millions of dollars he made. His social life also spirals into trouble and he is left friend-less and penniless. As a result, Jake decides to go back to his family home in Westchester. Here, he reunites with his sister (Rose Byrne), who’s pregnant and already has a 3-year old boy. Her husband (Bobby Cannavale) is a building contractor.
While taking care of their son, Jake discovers the couple is planning to move out. The best scenes of the movie are when Jake is dealing with the child, learning on the job as he has no prior experience of caring for babies. This leads him to meeting a nanny from the neighborhood (Paula Garces), and the two hit it off. In the midst of all this, he discovers that his brother-in-law is being unfaithful to his sister.
The acting is the strong point of the movie, with the leading cast ably supported by Bobby Mynihan, Joel McHale and Jane Krakowski. The movie is quite pleasant and moves along at a decent pace. However, the leaning towards the dramatic weighs down the funny moments and the ending seems somewhat forced and convenient. The story is by Kroll himself, adapted for the screen by Liz Flahive and Jeff Cox. The film is directed by Ross Katz.
Adult Beginners is good enough for a one-time watch but it is unlikely you will want to revisit it at any point in the future.