Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) follows up his directorial debut, happythankyoumoreplease, with Liberal Arts, where he performs triple duty as star, writer, and director. In Liberal Arts, Radnor plays Jesse, a 35-year-old admissions director who begins a romantic relationship with Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), a 19-year-old college student. As their relationship progresses, Jesse learns more about himself and realizes how he’s emotionally stunted.
The film works primarily because of the cast Radnor has to surround him. Aside from Olsen, who continues to show promise after her role in Martha Marcy May Marlene, the film also stars Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, Elizabeth Reaser and Zac Efron. It helps, also, that Radnor has created a charming, clever storyline. It’s very much a verbal film, which is appropriate given the collegiate setting. All in all, it’s definitely worth watching.