Another dysfunctional family movie straight from the film festival circuit! yay……
Kristin Wiig plays Imogene, a late 30-something woman who is having some sort of mental breakdown. Her boyfriend breaks up with her, but she gets this crazy idea to fake her suicide to get her back. unfortunately, this plan backfires and she ends up in the hospital. Her estranged, gambling addicted, neurotic mother comes to take her home with her. Once Imogene is back at her childhood New Jersey home, things get all sorts of indie-movie quirky. Her mom is seeing a secret agent who is half her age, her brother is a shut-in who is obsessed with hermit crabs, and renting her room is a handsome young man named Lee, who is in a Backstreet Boys cover group. Of course things start off terrible, only for Imogene to slowly develop strong relationships with her family throughout the picture, including getting close to Lee as well.
The Indie movie scene needs another dysfunctional family film like I need a freakin’ hole in my head. I’m not saying I don’t like these types of movies, but they are becoming a cliché’ within the festival circuit these days. It’s definitely getting old hat. But, I do want to be fair to this movie. I promise that I won’t hate this movie because of the type of movie it is. However, it just isn’t a very good film.
The premise is stale. We’ve seen this tale of a clueless woman trying to find herself, and then she does once she accepts where she comes from. That’s fine, but this movie doesn’t do anything to stand out from the rest of every other dysfunctional family movies. Everything about it seems contrived and phony. The dialogue doesn’t feel real and the direction is stiff and unimpressive. It has a very lazy vibe about it.
Kristin Wiig is a decent enough actress and I think given the right part, she could really prove herself to be a serious actress. GIRL MOST LIKELY doesn’t give her that opportunity. Instead, she just says “witty” one-liners that felt like they could’ve been written by the annoying and overrated Diablo Cody. Still, Wiig does display some charm occasionally. Annette Bening is firing on all cylinders as Imogene’s mom. It’s an appropriately overbearing performance. Matt Dillon as Bening’s boyfriend doesn’t fare as well. He’s pretty one-dimensional as a character and Dillon doesn’t even attempt to make him something more. Darren Criss as Lee is a pretty generic dude, but he’s likable enough. Christopher Fitzgerald seems to be channelling Zack Galifianakis as Imogene’s brother. Great. Another quirky guy with a beard. But I do think his character was written well. And it’s always nice to see Bob Balaban show up in any movie.
Like I said, the direction is flat. You’d think after making a few films, directors Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman would know who to set up shots in an interesting and fresh way, but it’s just lazy. The script is more or less, the major problem. Nothing about it is God awful, but it’s just so routine that I became bored during the movie. Now, there were some amusing bits sprinkled throughout. Wiig does have some interesting things to say about dating, I liked the cute little romance between Fitzgerald and Natasha Lyonne. Also, I thought there were some genuinely sweet moments between Wiig and Criss. Some of their exchanges with each other felt very real. But most of the stuff involving the mom and her boyfriend just didn’t ring true. And that ending. It felt so tacked on.
In the end, there’s nothing very memorable about GIRL MOST LIKELY. It’s a clichéd ridden quirky comedy that suffers from a “been there/done that” feeling that looms throughout it’s running time. ★★ (out of ★★★★)
– Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language.
– Running time: 1hr 43min.