Sure, it may not be quite as prestigious as NPR or The New York Times, but Entertainment Weekly is still a major publication, and seemingly one of the first to review Liberal Arts positively. EW calls it “the wittiest, most perceptive campus comedy in years,” and takes a more positive view of Radnor’s acting. Instead of being “smug [and] obsequious,” as the Times called him, EW‘s Owen Gleiberman sees him more as “Paul Rudd’s puppyish cousin.” No mention of Kenyon in this review, but the campus setting is again referred to as “leafy,” which is the best thing the Times bothered to say about us, but this time also adding “idyllic.”
According to a document provided by Director of Campus Events Bethanne Fowler and Public Affairs News Director Mark Ellis, the Sept. 2 Kenyon premiere of Liberal Arts will be quite a massive event. The KAC’s indoor Toan Track will be outfitted with a 21 x 12 foot screen, and will be capable of holding an audience of up to 2,500, with free popcorn and drinks available. The entire College community is invited, including the families of students and employees. Additionally, the Office of Parent and Alumni Programs plans to hold screenings around the country for alumni groups later this fall.
In addition to Josh Radnor ’96, who directed and stars in Liberal Arts, the premiere will also be attended by producer Jesse Hara of Tom Sawyer Entertainment and the president of IFC Entertainment, the film’s distributor — who just so happens to be another Kenyon grad, Jonathan D. Sehring ’78. The film has a running time of 97 minutes, and features scenes shot in Mount Vernon, Columbus, and New York City, although Gambier is, of course, the main setting.
Update 2: The premiere has been moved to Sunday, Sept. 2, according to Director of Campus Events Bethanne Fowler. We’re awaiting more details of the event.
Update: According to Director of New Student Orientation Erin Ciarimboli, the premiere will include an appearance by Josh Radnor, and, almost as excitingly, free popcorn and drinks.
According to the 2012 New Student Orientation schedule, Josh Radnor ’96’s hotly-anticipated new film Liberal Arts will be shown at the KAC’s indoor Toan Track at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1 (the first weekend after classes begin). Prior to the film, a “pre-show” will begin at 7:30 — no word on whether any special surprises and/or guests are going to be featured. According to The Columbus Dispatch and IMDB.com, Liberal Arts will enter theaters in limited release on Sept. 14, with releases in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia following in October. The Thrill will update as soon as we find out more.
Kenyon’s third most famous thespian graduate (after Paul Newman and the radiant Allison Janney, of course) has tried his hand at breaking into Kenyon’s other area of expertise: the world of literature.
Gawker reports that Radnor will release a memoir called One Big Blissful Thing in April, and that it will describe his journey from his suburban Ohio life to his experience “drinking an indigenous plant medicine [read: hallucinogen] called ayahuasca with a shaman in Brazil,” hopefully with some mention of his years at Kenyon in between. Since his last (coolly received) movie was called happythankyoumoreplease, Radnor also seems to be furthering his habit of long, vague titles, although at least this time he used spaces.
Gawker skeptically notes that “Being famous means all the drivel you write while tripping balls you think would make a great book CAN actually be made into a book,” but that’s not really fair. After all, Radnor is just trying to live up to his alma mater’s reputation.