2946. Adult Life Skills (2016)

7.5 Very funny, and heartfelt too
  • Acting 7.5
  • Directing 7.6
  • Story 7.4
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Starring: Jodie Whittaker, Lorraine Ashbourne, Brett Goldstein

Director: Rachel Tunnard

Running Time: 96 mins

Adult Life Skills is a British film about a woman approaching 30, living in her mum’s shed. With trauma in her past preventing her from pushing ahead in life, she struggles to find the motivation to get out of her rut.

You’ve seen offbeat, quirky films about adults still growing up before. And for the most part, Adult Life Skills isn’t enormously different. That being said, it soars with brilliantly funny dry wit, as well as a heartfelt – albeit predictable – tale of growing and finding your place in the world.

In all fairness, while Adult Life Skills isn’t an exceptionally original, it’s difficult not to love. Walking a tightrope between gloomy, depressing slice of life drama and sarcastic comedy, the film finds a wonderful middleground where it’s just as funny as it is moving.

Early on, there are laughs at every moment, from cute, quirky chuckles to hilarious dry wit. Jodie Whittaker’s adorable performance is the icing on top of the cake, as the film gets off to a delightful start.

But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for emotional drama. The comedy is what sets Adult Life Skills apart from other similar films, but the story about a young woman struggling to get her life going is still thoroughly engaging.

Tinged with deeper, more moving dramatic depth, the film unfolds wonderfully, as it changes from a hilarious comedy-drama to something all the more touching. What’s even better is the way the film handles that shift in tone.

The early stages are a good blend of comedy and drama, but by the end, things are a whole lot more serious. As the story slowly builds in dramatic power, reaching a moving peak in the film’s finale, making that transition as natural and fluid as possible is hugely important.

So many films that try to bridge that gap struggle with abrupt transitions, but director Rachel Tunnard handles that change in atmosphere wonderfully.

Overall, Adult Life Skills is a really lovely watch. Absolutely hilarious at moments with its brilliant brand of dry wit, the film cleverly blends its humour with engaging and often moving dramatic depth, unfolding organically as it moves towards a wonderful finale. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.5.


About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com