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Trailer Watch: Josh Radnor’s Liberal Arts

Josh Radnor is the weakest link on How I Met Your Mother’s script-transcending cast — his personality is like Wonder bread dipped in skim milk. So when his feature writing and directing debut happythankyoumoreplease got solid reviews, I cocked my left eyebrow, made a mental note of it and went on with my life.

His new film, Liberal Arts, doesn’t look like anything new plot-wise: “emotionally stunted man meets perfectly well-adjusted woman who gets him to open up” thing has started to feel like a (tired) genre unto itself. Even the twist seen here in the trailer — that this may or may not end up as a romantic connection (and probably doesn’t) — seems familiar, reminding me of the Natalie Portman subplot in Beautiful Girls or Lost in Translation.

But I’ve long said that plot is unimportant — that it’s not what you do, but how you do it — and the presence Elizabeth Olsen (as the too-young girl of his dreams), Allison Janney and Richard Jenkins made this interesting. And as it turned out, the trailer has a pitch-perfect tone, and there are just enough hints of something smart, something maybe just a little bit deep… so I’m intrigued.

via Chris Thilk


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