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MOVIES (GFF 2022): Adult Adoption - Review

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Adult Adoption is a quirky, free-spirited triumph from Karen Knox that echoes both True Things, which also played at this festival and Kajillionaire. The quirkiness of Miranda July’s found family drama takes root in this story that takes the twist on the adult adoption story – a 25 year old who has aged out of the foster care system at 18 and is looking for a mother – and revels in the thrills that come with it, as Rosy – a brilliant Ellie Moon – experiences a variety of new people on her search for the perfect surrogate parent.

Moon is excellent throughout, capturing the loneliness of Rosy’s life – and the way to overcome it with a heart-warming message at the film’s core. It delicates the balance between separate romantic and parent-daughter relationships perfectly; navigating how important it is for a person to have both – and how life-changing it can be without that. Such of this film’s core message is built around Rosy interacting with other people – and it shows that life isn’t like the movies where people are perfect after high school – sometimes in their mid twenties they can hit bumps along the road too. It’s a rare breather to focus on a protagonist at this kind of age and have it be so honest, even with its late coming of age drama tropes that it finds itself deploying.

The humour is fun and light-hearted and the colour palette; whilst familiar, is vibrant and bursting full of an energy that the film manages to replicate. Whilst it takes characters’ personalities to the extreme Adult Adoption does use them to get the best out of the performances – it’s wickedly smart and fully gets the fact that not everyone comes of age at the same time – some have different cycles, develop later than others and movies have often not really respected that. Part of why it’s so honest is that Moon herself wrote the part of Rosy – with Moon embracing the character head on in a way that helps Rosy feel so real as a character.

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