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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Movie Review - Girl Most Likely

Girl Most Likely (2013)
Starring Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Christopher Fitzgerald, Matt Dillon, Darren Criss, and Bob Balaban
Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

I watched the first hour of Girl Most Likely and then had to stop to head out of the house.  Three days later, I realized that I hadn't finished the film, but over the course of those three days, I hadn't thought about it once.  It's not that Girl Most Likely is bad -- I found myself laughing quite a bit and the performances were pretty darn solid -- but its story doesn't exactly feel special by any means making the whole film almost forgettable.

Kristen Wiig is Imogene who, at the film's onset, is living in New York City with her rich, haughty boyfriend.  After attending a posh soiree, her boyfriend tells her that he's moving on and breaking up with her.  Devastated, Imogene becomes depressed, loses her job, and spends day after day in her fancy apartment until she comes up with the crazy notion that if she pretends to commit suicide, her boyfriend may feel sympathy for her return to her side.  Fun stuff, right?  Unfortunately, her plan backfires and she ends up in a mental hospital.  After a night or two, the doctors determine that she can be released to a family member who will agree to watch over her.  While Imogene assumes it will be her (ex-)boyfriend, her estranged mother Zelda (Annette Bening) arrives to take her back to her childhood home in Ocean City, New Jersey.  [In an odd coincidence, the reason I had to leave the house during my initial viewing of Girl Most Likely is because I was going to Ocean City, New Jersey.]  Unfortunately for Imogene, Zelda cares more about her own well-being than her daughter -- a notion that hasn't changed since Imogene's youth and one of the reasons Imogene ran to New York City at her first opportunity.  With Imogene trying to come to terms with her past and her present, she finds herself attempting to determine what kind of person she really wants to be.

Despite the seriousness of how the film starts out, Girl Most Likely does find humor amidst the pathos of its main character quite a bit in the film's first half.  Kristen Wiig isn't reinventing the wheel in terms of a character here -- her delivery of jokes in movies is always peppered with a quiet staccato verbalization of words which I find funny, but not exactly original from film to film -- but she certainly is agreeable to watch.  The introduction of Annette Bening's Zelda is almost too stereotypical of the Jersey Shore persona that we've come to know in recent years thanks to Snookie and The Situation, but Bening milks it for all its worth and, despite the over-the-top nature of the character, quite honestly delivers a really strong comedic performance.

Unfortunately, the film falters a bit once Imogene finds herself plunking down in New Jersey.  Subplots about her brother Ralph's (Christopher Fitzgerald) nervous nature, the tenant (Darren Criss) living in her childhood room, and Zelda's CIA boyfriend nicknamed "the Bouche" (Matt Dillon) all fall flat and fail to elevate the character of Imogene despite the fact that they are clearly aiming to do so.  Girl Most Likely had promise, but the dark comedic nature at the film's start dissipates rather quickly which proves to be a bit of a disappointment.  Still, considering this is streaming on Netflix, it's certainly something to consider watching.

The RyMickey Rating:  C+

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