it’s girls-meets-art school confidential in emma roberts’ latest flick.

by rebecca willa davis

We all know that person: Someone who wears all black because it seems to signify something, who talks in the abstract about her "artistry," and who has obsessively memorized the lines of her favorite writers not because she loves them, but because she thinks she's supposed to love them.

That person? That's Amy, the protagonist of the new film Adult World (played by a charmingly over-the-top Emma Roberts), which screened during the Tribeca Film Festival last week. She's a straight-A student who thinks that because she's smart she's also a poet. As we quickly learn in the film's deadpan delivery, she's not.

The rest of the film, written by Andy Cochran and directed by Scott Coffey, spins out from there: Amy can only get a job at a downtown sex shop (which shares its name with the film's title), is blind to the advances of her shaggy-haired co-worker Alex (American Horror Story's Evan Peters), and becomes a de facto servant for her poetry icon Rat Billings (played by John Cusack, who steals just about every scene he's in).

The end result is a film that feels like a Girls-Art School Confidential mash-up--there's biting satire there, and may come off as verging on mean if you're a regular at your local poetry readings, but it's also the story of a girl fresh out of college who really has no idea who she is and what she wants to be (a la Hannah Horvath), so the only way she knows how to act is as if the world revolves around her.

And no matter how familiar these characters may seem, the ending has just the right amount of twist to it to keep you on your toes. Because there's nothing better than being surprised by that person.