Friday, May 20, 2016

Liberal Arts (2012)


“The purpose of fiction is to combat loneliness.”

            I have my BA in the Liberal Arts field of Art History. Sounds pointless right, like anything to do with history or the Liberal Arts in general? You would be right but I also have my MA in Museum Studies with a concentration in Museum Registration. My degrees are not completely useless it is just jobs are hard to come by just like any Liberal Arts subjects. Both of my degrees have been helpful with different types of jobs such as researching and cataloging an estate and doing some data entry for a while. I do sometimes wish I had chosen a subject such as computers/technology or communications that would at least guarantee me a job with any place yet I cannot picture myself being happy in anything but the Art History and museum fields. I love Art History, history, and museums with such a passion that I would not want to do anything else (well maybe being a professional vlogger or blogger would be the only other thing but those are not really going to happen any time soon). Usually people like me who have a Liberal Arts degree wind up working in places we do not necessarily want to work. At my last job one of the girls had a degree in Christian Studies and she was working data entry for a construction company. The movie Liberal Arts somewhat shows what it is like to have that degree, not doing what you love every day, somewhat finding your passion again, and finding younger people to teach your old ass wisdom to.
            Jesse Fischer (Josh Radnor) is thirty-five years old and works at an admissions office for a college in New York City. It is clear he is not happy with his job it is not ideally what he would have liked to have been doing at that point in his life. He likes to go to the local bookstore often to pick up some used books. His face is always in a book. Jesse receives an invitation from his old college professor Peter Holberg for his retirement party. Jesse had a good time at his liberal arts college and desperately misses that atmosphere and just the feeling of being in classes learning about his favorite subjects. Holberg was an English professor who had been with the college for thirty-five years.
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            Holberg introduces Jesse to his friends and their twenty-two-year-old daughter Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen). Zibby is at the college studying theater. Jesse and Zibby walk around the campus together and find they have a lot in common. She tells him about a music appreciation class she had taken the year before and how much she now loves classical music. After that walk Jesse and Zibby write to each other about books to read and music to listen to.
            Even though they like each other and that there is a sixteen-year gap between them, Zibby and Jesse fall in love through their written letters. She asks him to come back for a visit and he does. He leaves when she asks him to sleep with her and she tells him it would be her first time. Jesse does not want to deal with that and he leaves. When he returns home he goes to the bookstore and starts talking to Ana, the woman behind the register. They talk about books and life experiences and eventually date. Jesse finally finds someone he loves that is age appropriate for him and makes realize he needs to live his life outside of books.
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            Liberal Arts was not a terrible movie. I liked how part of the story was about this older guy who has a degree in Liberal Arts but is doing something he did not think he would be doing with his degree. I pray to God all the time that I will find a job in a museum where I can use my degrees that I have $124,000 worth of debt over (fucking private college I went to for Grad school). Josh Radnor and Elizabeth Olsen were great individually and together. I really like Olsen as an actress. So far the films I have seen her in she has been fantastic. I was very excited to see Elizabeth Reaser in a movie she had one of my favorite storylines on Grey’s Anatomy (speaking of GA, Kate Burton, AKA, Ellis Grey, was also in this!) and what I have seen of her in other movies and shows she has been very good. Liberal Arts is a movie I think that is worth watching at least once especially if you have that degree.
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