Adult Life Skills neatly sidesteps the trap of the twee

Adult Life Skills

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

Adult Life Skills is one of those low-key, quirky dramedies that, if executed poorly, has the potential to be be near enough unwatchable.

Fortunately, as executed by first-time writer-director Rachel Tunnard and her more than able cast, the film is instead a mopey, mirthful study of making magic out of mundanity.

Jodie Whittaker stars as Anna, a bereaved twin who spends her days doing admin at a small-town Yorkshire rowing club and her nights making videos with a tinfoil spaceship and her anthropomorphic thumbs. She sees faces in places — in egg cartons, in wood grain.

She flirts awkwardly with soft-spoken, number-driven real estate agent Brendan (Brett Goldstein). She also lives in a shed, which her mum (Lorraine Ashbourne) despairs about ever getting her out of. It’s only when Anna is forced to look after Clint (Ozzy Meyers), a scowl-y, cowboy-obsessed kid with troubles of his own.

Though perpetually verging on preciousness — Edward Hogg appears as a character credited as The Snorkeler — Adult Life Skills has enough insight into arrested development and grief to sidestep the trap of the twee.

Author: robertmwallis

Graduate of Royal Holloway and the London Film School. Founder of Of All The Film Sites; formerly Of All The Film Blogs (www.ofallthefilmblogs.blogspot.co.uk). Formerly Film & TV Editor of The Metropolist (www.themetropolist.com) and Official Sidekick at A Place to Hang Your Cape (www.ap2hyc.com). Co-host of the Electric Shadows podcast (http://bit.ly/29Pd7RS) and member of the Online Film Critics Society (http://www.ofcs.org).

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