A new indie comedy, "Adult World," focuses on an aspiring young poet who is forced to make ends meet and winds up working in a porn store. NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following review.
Emma Roberts, who has the distinction, among other things of being actor Eric Roberts daughter and Julia Roberts niece stars in a new indie comedy. It's called “Adult World.”
Roberts plays Amy, a recent college grad living in upstate New York, who thinks she's destined to be a great poet. She devotes most of her time submitting her work to dozens of high brow magazines, but it's getting her nowhere.
What Amy doesn't realize is that her poetry isn't very good, in fact it's awful. So when her parents cut her off monetarily, she's forced to take a job. With little options and no skills she winds up working in a local porn store.
In her free time, Amy stalks her idol, Rat Billings, a washed up poet, played by John Cusack, who found some brief success twenty years earlier.
Amy wants to be Billing's protégé and after being hounded by her numerous times, he reluctantly gives in. But Billing's isn't exactly the patient and understanding mentor she's looking for.
Emma Roberts doesn't have the acting chops to carry a film and she has no comedic timing whatsoever. On a dramatic level, she's also not very convincing. Her frequent tantrums when her poetry's rejected or her half hearted suicide attempts, are not even remotely believable.
Cloris Leachman, as the owner of the porn shop is wasted here. There's also a transgender character with a heart of gold, who Amy turns to in a time of need, which seems to be ripped off from several other films.
The screenplay by Andy Cochran is predictable and clichéd. Plus the screenwriter, along with director Scott Coffey, have squandered a good idea. That of a naive girl working in an adult store. They don't really utilize that concept at all, which could have been a treasure trove and it's a missed opportunity.
The only saving grace is Cusack, who takes a stereotypical character and elevates the proceedings whenever he's on screen.
Neil Rosen's Big Apple Rating: One-And-A-Half Apples