Director: Ross Katz
Cast: Nick Kroll, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-Ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
In Adult Beginners, a young, hipster entrepreneur (Nick Kroll) crashes and burns on the eve of his company’s big launch. With his entire life in disarray, he leaves Manhattan to move in with his estranged pregnant sister (Rose Byrne), brother-in-law (Bobby Cannavale) and three year-old nephew in the suburbs — only to become their manny. Faced with real responsibility, he may finally have to grow up — but not without some bad behavior first.
Immediately following the biggest night of Jake’s (Kroll) life, everything takes a drastic turn for the worst and before he can blink, he’s gone from successful and on the right track, to being broke and flooded with threats from the numerous individuals he indirectly took down with him. With nothing left and nowhere to go, Jake heads back to his hometown and the house that he grew up in, now occupied by his pregnant sister Justine (Byrne), her husband Danny (Cannavale) and their other child. When Justine and Danny offer to let him stay with them for an undetermined period of time in exchange for watching their toddler son, Jake reluctantly accepts. Soon Jake begins to get more involved with their lives and his hometown than possibly ever before and he may just indirectly grow up a bit himself as a result of the experience.
Ross Katz directed ‘Adult Beginners’ which also (in a way) marks his feature film directorial debut, having previously directed solely a TV movie from 2009 which I can’t say I’m personally familiar with titled ‘Taking Chance’ and starring Kevin Bacon. Katz does an impressive job at the helm, guiding this hilarious and heartwarming film with apparent ease and he does a great job throughout. The film also benefits tremendously from the incredibly talented and perfectly selected individuals comprising the cast, including Nick Kroll (who additionally co-wrote the story), Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Joel McHale and more, all of whom deliver spot-on performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Adult Beginners’ is a hilarious and heartwarming journey into the lives of one particular family and all of the wonder, joy, nonsense and everything else that comes with them. It keeps its feet planted in the comedy genre for the most part, providing no shortage of laugh out loud moments, yet additionally manages to weave in some realistic and emotionally powerful situations that the majority of folks out there can surely relate to in one form or another. Overall, ‘Adult Beginners’ is incredibly enjoyable, heartwarming and often hilarious with a stellar cast that couldn’t possibly be better in their roles. I would definitely recommend checking this one out if you get the chance; it’s well worth a rental at the very least.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Adult Beginners’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks solid as a whole, providing a rich, detailed and simply fantastic looking presentation throughout. While there may not be a plethora of fast moving activity or darkly lit sequences here, it delivers in every way required of it and no notable faults were found on my end. Overall, this is a very capable high definition video presentation that should easily satisfy.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds great for what it is. While it may not be overly active, that’s in no way a negative reflection of the soundtrack, the film keeping most of the activity on screen quite subtle and providing only a number of brief moments to allow the surround channels to contribute aside from with the films score/soundtrack. All of the dialogue occurring throughout remains crisp and clear, never conflicting with any other auditory elements which may be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is more than capable 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that doesn’t fall short in any way.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Adult Beginners’ doesn’t include a great deal in the way of bonus content; a sole Featurette titled simply ‘The Making of Adult Beginners’ is included which runs approximately 10 minutes in length and features director Ross Katz, along with Rose Byrne and Nick Kroll discussing their experiences in bringing the film to life.