When we meet the ‘eccentric’ wannabe poet Amy (Emma Roberts), she is sticking her head in an oven in an act of desperation a la Sylvia Plath. She soon chastises herself for ‘suicidal plagiarism’ and we flashback to one year prior to see how she got herself into this mess.
Fresh out of college, Amy is lost. Poetry is her life, but after facing countless rejection letters from various publications she grows frustrated with her current situation. Deciding a change of scenery is needed from living with her financially but not emotionally supportive parents, she leaves home, begins working in a sex shop and tries to fit in with the varying personalities that come with it.
Before long, she finds herself in a local bookstore and discovers her literary idol Rat Billings (John Cusack) will soon be doing an in-store book signing. Overwhelmed to say the least, Amy finally has something to look forward to. But of course when the time comes, her awkward and clumsy nature scares Rat off, with him literally speeding away from her in the parking lot.
Persistent, she forces her way into Billings’ home and life referring to herself as his protégé and their relationship is tired before it has even begun. Why would Billings ever have the time of day for Amy? He finds Amy profoundly annoying, just as the audience does. Her constant whining and over the top nature ensures the audience does not remotely care about where she ends up. Everything she does is always self-motivated, her behaviour reminiscent of a young girl, rather than a college graduate.
There is absolutely nothing likeable about our central character, which makes her relationship with the level headed and intelligent Alex (Roberts’ real life fiancée Evan Peters) even stranger. Her role is meant to be transformational, but Roberts tries way too hard and simply misses the mark.
The inclusion of Cloris Leachman as the proprietress of Adult World is extremely promising, until you soon realise she is only (briefly) there for appearances only.
Even Cusack can’t save this irritating bore.
Adult World is out on DVD through Madman Entertainment.