Impressions of … Liberal Arts [Josh Radnor]

this reminded me of ‘Garden State’, both comic dramas written and directed by young TV stars, both concerned with young men going home and reflecting on the state of their lives – I didn’t know Radnor had attended the Kenyon College (or indeed grown up in its environs) but it was obvious – hard not to conflate Josh and ‘Jesse’, creator and character, and on this evidence he is a sweet guy, earnest, caring, pleasing to the eye (while Braff would seem overly-concerned with the issues related to his success)

almost fifteen years after graduation, Jesse (unlike Josh, you imagine) has not found fulfilment, professionally or personally, this leads him to accept an invitation to speak at his (second) favourite professor’s retirement celebration, which in turn leads to a romance with a current student, their age difference provokes a crisis – a sweet, earnest sort of crisis – and of course the resolution of the crisis leads to personal growth, maturity, Josh/Jesse are preoccupied by the principle of maturity, the emotional life cycle, the conclusion (assumption) is that age-appropriate behaviour is a pre-condition of happiness, childhood extends to age 21, or 22 if you took a year out, and being a good guy requires the substitution of anxiety for (inappropriate) sexual excitement – because, as Jesse explains, rather paternally, “sex is complicated” …

yes, Josh/Jesse, you are now ready to grow old and raise children: you have achieved the appropriate attitude – but you really didn’t get to grips with Romantic poets, did you? (literature isn’t wallpaper)

the script tends towards the earnest, but features some crisp dialogue – “I have a car.” “Okay?” “I would like for you to get in it with me. And I would like to drive us somewhere.” “Where?” – and some convincingly cringeworthy moments, and the affection for his alma mater, and for other people, is charming

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