Adult World (2013)

Adult World

Adult World

Director: Scott Coffey

Writer: Andy Cochran
Recommended? Meh
Bechdel Test: Pass

Oh look, a suburban privileged girl graduates with $90,000 in debt and dreams of being a famous poet. She can’t get a job anywhere, so she very begrudgingly settles for working at a porn store and the authenticity parade begins.

She runs away from home and stays with a squatter transgender prostitute (with a heart of gold! Imagine that! At least she doesn’t die. God what a low bar I’m working with for transgender representation). After awhile she moves into a place of her own. Her roommate is an impassioned-but-obviously-privileged Occupy rebel who says things like “the movement needs you, Amy” and frames the acceptance letter she gets of publication in Anarchist Quarterly.

Oh, and the concept of young women obsessed with self-harm is trivialized and played for laughs (I was not surprised when I discovered the movie was written by a man).

It’s not a bad movie as far as things go, if you can get over being represented as one-dimensional cliches to help the middle-class girl come of age. The lessons about art (fame is crap, just do what you love) are good, and John Cusack makes a compelling drunken loser poet guy. The low-key sexual humor is actually pretty amusing. And I’m 90% sure this marks the first time I’ve seen a squatter symbol in a mainstream movie.

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