Adult World

Rated R 97 minutes 2013

John Cusack's days as a handsome lead may be drawing to a close, but the well of bitterness he's been building up for more than a decade guarantees him a long career as a jaundiced character actor. He waltzes away with this two-bit comedy by Scott Coffey, playing a legendary poet whose bad-boy prime is now long behind him; unfortunately much more screen time goes to Emma Roberts (Nancy Drew) as a wacky young fan and fellow scribe who harasses him for advice and inspiration. A busy actor, Coffey has directed only one previous feature, the showbiz satire Ellie Parker (2005), and like Naomi Watts as the title starlet in that movie, Roberts is completely over-the-top here, her frantic, unfunny performance serving only to highlight Cusack's caginess and restraint. With Evan Peters, John Cullum, and Cloris Leachman.

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