I don't really know what I expected when I grabbed the DVD except knowing that this is a possible love story between two characters with a large age gap, both fond of classical music and literature. What I get is a surprisingly pleasant and meaningful movie about love, friendship and youth (also coping with age and time).
I have never really seen Josh Radnor in anything, but I did watch Elizabeth Olsen in Love, Peace and Misunderstanding and loved her subtle but strong performance there. This movie centers around a 35 year old man living a mundane life and wishing he could come back to his college years, and when he goes back to Ohio to see his college professor, he meets Zibby, a 19 year old student with a love for classical music (after this class changes her life), and books. They are attracted to each other but he is hesitant because of their age gap, but slowly warms to the idea and starts exchanging handwritten letters.
The movie deals with age, and the anecdotes in the movies from different characters are accurately portraying each dilemma with grace and meaning. The old college professor retiring, Peter, makes an anecdote about thinking he never thinks he's not 19 ever since he passes that age, but everybody else stops seeing him as 19 as he grows up. Then there's Nat, a grungy character, making an observation about a caterpillar not wanting to grow up and fighting the cells trying to turn it into a butterfly, but in the end everything is going to be alright, and there is no fighting it. There's also suicidal Dean, not wanting to live, wanting to end things as soon as possible because he's unhappy. The exchange between the characters are so realistic and thought-provoking, but in the end it shows that not every two people who are right for each other can be together. Life goes on, some days suck, some days we feel lucky we're alive. It's nice to know what others feel that sentiment as well, that we're not alone.
What a powerful message in this movie. It falls in the same category of my favorite movies such as It's Kind of a Funny Story, the Art of Getting By, the Descendants, Like Crazy, and other indie movies I come across and love.