Liberal Arts

Synopsis: Thirty-five year old Jesse Fisher, an admissions officer at a New York City post-secondary institution he who loves English and literature, has somewhat lost his passion in life, which includes recently being unceremoniously dumped by his latest girlfriend, who could no longer be the person to prop him up emotionally. He has a chance to find that passion again when he is invited to the retirement dinner of his second favorite Ohio University college professor, Peter Hoberg, as his time there was when his life held the most passion. Jesse's encounters with five people there may determine if he does find that passion again. They are: Hoberg, who is resisting the notion of retirement; Judith Fairfield, Jesse's favorite professor, although for a different reason than his like of Hoberg; Nat, a free spirit who navigates life at the institution on his own terms; undergraduate student Dean, who Jesse sees as a younger more destructive version of himself; and nineteen year old undergraduate st
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Josh Radnor
Production: IFC Films
  7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
97 min


You know,

high school to college,

it can be a big transition,

especially if you're not

from the city,

so-so we try to help out

with that transition

in a number of ways.

Wow, that's a real



I mean, you're not in yet,


no, things are looking

pretty good.

We do an all-campus picnic,

which is a nice way

for the incoming students

to acclimate themselves

to the college.

For me, the most exciting thing

about this place is the classes.

So you don't want to go

to college?

You know, I'm not up to date

on the course catalog.

One of the great things

about this school is, you know,

you have a campus

called New York City.

Greatest city in the world,

they say.

I thought your essay was-

was interesting.

A spell-check might be nice

on these essays.

Planning on taking

your boards again?

Love those extracurriculars.

Have you heard

about the meal plan?


Where do you see things going,

you know,

after-after college?


Mm, mm, mm-hmm

Hmm, mm

Look at how life

has gone today

My sweet love is gone away

My sweet love is gone today

My sweet love

is gone away now

Mm, mm

Look at how life

has gone away

My sweet love is gone away

My sweet love is gone today

My sweet love

is gone away now

Mm-hmm, mm-hmm

Mm-hmm, mm-hmm

Yours or mine?


You can have it if you want,


Is that a new shirt?

Uh, yeah, it is.

Do you like it?

Don't ask me that.


Because it's not my job

to make you feel good

about yourself anymore.


Look at how life

has drived away

My sweet love is gone away

My sweet love is gone today

My sweet love

is gone away now


That'll be all for you?

- Hmm?

- Anything else?

Oh, no, that's it.

That's a nice shirt.


Oh, my baby

Oh, my love

Oh, my baby, now

Mm-hmm, mm-hmm



Mm-hmm, mm-hmm



Mm-hmm, mm-hmm




Jesse Fisher?


It's your favorite Communist.

Professor Peter Hoberg?

Screw you.

I'm not a Communist.

How you doing?

Oh, you know.

Listen, I don't want to

take up too much of your time,

but here's why I'm calling.

Ever since I announced

that I was packing it in,

it's funny, but this whole place

has finally decided

that they don't really hate me

after all.

Now, I know Ohio is not

as glamorous as New York,

but they're throwing me

a retirement dinner thing

at the end of the month,

and they asked me to invite

any former students

that might want to lie and say

some nice things about me.

And since you're one of

the great liars that I know...

When is it?

Weekend of the 25th.

You know, check your schedule.


Checking now.

Uh, looks like I'd have to shift

some things around, but yeah.

I'll be there.


Look at this.

How are you?


- Jesse.

- Yeah, hi.

Hi, I'm David.

This is Susan.

- Hi.

- Hey.

Peter warned you

that we'd be here?

He did.

He did, yeah.

We're making him take care

of us while we're here.

How was your drive?

It was good, yeah.

Pleasant, actually.

Peter, Jesse's here!

So it's good to be back?


Yeah, it's weird.

I drove up the hill.

I suddenly felt like

I was seeing

an ex-girlfriend

or something.

- The one that got away.

- Exactly.

Zibby loves it here so much,

she gets sad to come home

on breaks.



Elizabeth, our daughter.

She's a sophomore.


She's in the improv group.

We came up

to see one of her shows.

- How was it?

- Hilarious.

Uh, filthy but hilarious.

So how do you guys know Peter?

He was my camp counselor.

No way.

He made us sing pro-union

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Josh Radnor

Joshua Radnor is an American actor, filmmaker and musician. He is best known for portraying Ted Mosby on the popular Emmy Award-winning CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. He made his writing and directorial debut with the 2010 comedy drama film Happythankyoumoreplease, for which he won the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. In 2012, he wrote, directed and starred in his second film, Liberal Arts, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. In 2014, Radnor portrayed Isaac in the Broadway play Disgraced, which earned a Tony Award for Best Play nomination. He then starred as Dr. Jedediah Foster on the PBS American Civil War drama series Mercy Street and as Lou Mazzuchelli in the musical series Rise. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Liberal Arts" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 25 Jun 2022. <>.

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