Jesse Fisher (Josh Radnor) a New York college adviser becomes involved with a student when he returns to his alma mater in Ohio for a favourite professor's (Richard Jenkins) retirement party. The only trouble is that Jesse is 35 and his new romantic interest, Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), is 19.
Scattered Spoilers via the Windmills of my Mind.
Liberal Arts is a charming Indie film. Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) writes, directs and plays the leading man. Nothing though leads you to suspect that you will enjoy the ride so much.
The stars of the film have well thought out and quirky parts. Especially Zac Efron who is sensational. I have shed all thought of being touted as cool and instead have gone with the behemoth of talent that is ZE. Is there nothing this man cannot do?
So, Jesse does the right thing and attends his favourite professor's retirement party. While he's there he meets Zibby and they get on well. The professor however gives the worst retirement speech in the known history of man and no one is happy about it. It's like a combination of whining, preaching and then begging for his old job back.
But inevitably Jesse and Zibby get together. And, they make a great couple until Jesse works out the age difference, which Zibby stresses, is not an issue.
Arriving back to New York he meets Nat (Zac Efron) who is crashing with a friend on campus. Zac becomes a friend and he is the coolest hippie you will ever meet. (Although Donald Sutherland's hippie in Kelly's Heroes was pretty sensational.)
So Nat sets Jesse and Zibby up on a coffee date which ends with Zibby handing Jesse a mixed tape. It's all Beethoven, Schubert etc., because that wacky Zibby is into classical music.
There's a great montage of Jesse driving back into New York City and the "Pastoral" is playing while we see The Statue of Liberty, The Brooklyn Bridge, etc. etc.
We also meet Ana (Elizabeth Reaser), who works at Jesse's local Book Store. And, love really is blind because the pair has so much in common it's ridiculous.
Another great scene ensues as Jesse is so overwhelmed by Schubert that he stops and raises his arms to the sky in celebration of the music. It's very endearing and there are a number of similar scenes that made me smile.
So, Jesse is also handwriting letters to Zibby, as is her wont, and he has done this for quite a while. This time it's about cosi fan tutte and Zibby wants to know if he was as overwhelmed as she was by Mozart, as in Wolfgang Amadeus. Stupid question, of course he is blown away by WAM.
For me cosi will always be aligned with the Australian film of the same name, starring Toni Colette and Jacki Weaver.
Jesse is just inhaling everything Zibby throws at him. I get where Jesse is coming from, I didn't do an Arts degree but the arts are a part of me. In fact, I have a total eclipse of the Arts (sorry).
When Jesse discovers one of the Twilight books in Z's room the pair start fighting over whether it was a good book or not. To end the argument Jesse says he will read the book straight away and tell her his decision.
Z is a bit peeved, just a tad, as she doesn't understand why he won't just let her have her book. But the pair continues to argue even after Jesse has read all four Twilight books.
Love that they included a debate about the Twilight books. But sadly it is the end of the affair for J & Z. Not able to let the Twilight debate go they end up breaking up in a fairly comical manner.
Funnily enough Jesse ends up with Ana, who is played by an actor who had a major part in the Twilight Franchise films. And, Radnor's sense of irony is complete.
$327,345k is what this film made at the Worldwide Box Office. Sacre Bleu!