In Adult Life Skills, Anna (Jodie Whittaker) is approaching her 30th birthday. She lives in her mother’s shed while grieving the loss of her twin brother of whom she has visions.  Anna is stuck, she cannot move on emotionally or physically. She distracts herself by making videos starring her two conversational thumbs. Unfortunately both her mother and grandmother seem as set in place as her dead brother and the appearance of Anna’s best friend does little to confront the status quo.

Adult Life Skills is pretty predictable so a few surprises would have been welcomed. It is refreshing however that Anna doesn’t need or want a man “that can chuck her across the bedroom” as her grandmother suggests. The twins’ website and film footage are inventively used to introduce exposition and subtext, the location feels fresh, the soundtrack is excellent and there are some lovely cutaway details which say more than the sum of their parts. The dialogue is a little inconsistent however, and the relationship between Anna and kid cowboy Clint (Ozzy Myers) doesn’t convince, although the acting is strong throughout.

This film will appeal to a broad spectrum with its gentle humour and the way it skims lightly over weighty issues such as internal conflict, loss, grief and the connection between twin siblings. Ultimately the strands of the film; Anna’s brother, thumb theatre, Clint and love interest Brendan (Brett Goldstein) are not pushed far enough which results in Adult Life Skills feeling like an opportunity missed.

Caroline Grebbell

Sat 18 June, 8.45pm, Cineworld

Sun 19 June, 3.30pm, Cineworld

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