Kate’s new novel isn’t doing very well. The book tour’s cancelled and as she’s posing between the three enormous baby bellies of her three best friends, she simply holding a book, she’s realizing that maybe her baby was better off aborted.
But then her old professor calls, asking her to do a reading at her alma matter, and maybe things are a bit redeemed? Kate (Gillian Jacobs) returns to her former stomping grounds, 15 years later. Is it a triumphant return? Well, besides the fact that no one’s read the book and professor David (Jemaine Clement) isn’t quite as welcoming as she’d hoped and the B&B lady might be slightly psychotic and she accidentally wore the same blazer to the reading as she’s wearing on the book jacket. Apart from that, sure?
But her feelings of inadequacy and malaise seems to have her untethered, and instead of heading back home to Chicago, she hangs out maybe a little bit longer than she should. She drops by her old frat house and makes friends with the kids she finds there. They were in kindergarden when she herself was in college, but what’s a little age difference? Their problems seem so trivial compared to hers. They are young and full of promise, with their whole lives ahead of them. They haven’t compromised their dreams yet, their hopes haven’t been dulled by the brunt force of survival, they haven’t experienced the steady sucking of one’s soul. But this is a temporary balm at best, a bit of respite maybe, but eventually Kate will need to confront and make peace with reality vs. expectation, surely?
Writer-director Kris Rey has a playful style, but well-observed. I was pleasantly surprised to find Gillian Jacobs not resorting to an insufferable whininess that could have easily made this comedy boorish. Instead we find a lovely little character arc and a tidy if light comedy about a second coming of age.