Liberal Arts

2012 PG-13 1h 37m Blu-ray / DVD

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Liberal Arts

2012 PG-13 1h 37m Blu-ray / DVD
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  • Cast
A speaking engagement brings 35-year-old Jesse back to his college alma mater, where he's blindsided by nostalgia and a plucky sophomore named Zibby. Newly single and unfulfilled by his job, Jesse finds Zibby pulling him out of his disillusionment.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen 2.35:1
English, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 2.35:1
English, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 14+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 14+
  • Josh Radnor
  • Elizabeth Olsen
  • Richard Jenkins
  • Allison Janney
  • Elizabeth Reaser
  • John Magaro
  • Kate Burton
  • Robert Desiderio
  • Zac Efron
  • Kristen Bush
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age 14+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Liberal Arts centers on the budding relationship between a teenage college girl and a man in his mid-30s and looks at whether they can make things work despite the significant age difference. Don't expect any teen-sex comedy cliches -- this thoughtful film starring writer-director Josh Radnor (from the sitcom How I Met Your Mother) and Elizabeth Olsen, tackles the question realistically, and the couple works through their obvious attraction and the equally obvious hurdles they face. Expect some swearing and drinking, and one sex scene that takes place in the dark but has some very obvious sounds.

Sexual Content

A college student discusses whether she should sleep with an older man. A couple has a one-night stand, with some brief sex sounds that take place in the dark. People are shown after having sex. A couple kisses warmly.


Not applicable


Relatively infrequent swearing includes "screw," "p---y," "sucks," and "screw you." Two people flip each other off.

Social Behavior

Love can strike anytime and anywhere -- but in the real world, not every pairing can work, even between people who get along wonderfully. This film examines the possibilities of a May-December flirtation between a young college girl and a man approaching middle age, who wonder whether love is enough to sustain them. They think carefully and thoughtfully about the implications and make well-reasoned decisions.


The film promotes Kenyon College, where it was filmed.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Some drinking at meals and social events, and a bit more drinking at college parties. One woman lights up a cigarette after sex.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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