I was originally drawn to this movie by the fact that Darren Criss is in it-- I've been on this ride since his A Very Potter Musical days, and I'm probably never gonna leave him. He'd posted about it a lot when the film first came out, but living in Williamsburg, Va, I was only able to get my hands on it via Netflix. Admittedly when it did turn up on my Netflix homepage, I didn't touch it for a while. The film cover and synopsis were interesting, but didn't really capture the kind of whimsy or tightness I like to see when I watch movies so I got distracted by other movies. Or maybe there was a part of me that kind of felt like the movie hit a little to close to some part of me I'm disappointed in. More on that later.
Girl Most Likely stars Kristin Wiig as Imogene, a former wunderkind playwright now struggling with her own mediocrity walking amongst the New York City elite. Her long-term boyfriend breaks up with her, sending her into a tail-spin which costs her her job. In a last ditch attempt to get him to show that he really does still care for her, she half-heartedly attempts suicide. This effort sends her to her backwater roots in Atlantic City, far from her upper-crust circle she doesn't quite fit in with, and into the arms of her dysfunctional family: a brother who struggles with social interactions, a gambling-addict mother, the absurd man her mother is sleeping with, and the Backstreet Boy impersonator who has rented out her room in her absence.
It's a comedy that pivots around the acceptance of the absurdity, heartbreak, and freedom that comes with knowing who really cares for you. It's sort of a coming of age story--- granted Imogene is sort of past the age at which that sort of thing typically happens in stories, but that's sort of the point.
This movie is really likable. It's sweet, it's funny, and it's the type of sensibility that feels like reality with a bit of a smirking edge to it. I would recommend it for those who have a sense of humor that hinges more around realizing everything about life is crazy than slapstick moments or physical comedy.
As a story about a past-her-prime playwright I kind of shrunk away from watching this movie for a while, because it's been half a decade since I wrote a half decent play. I used to win competitions and now I worry it's all gone. I think I was kind of worried about what kinds of things it'd make me feel about my own mediocrity as a writer-- would I feel made fun of or judged? Would I feel pressured to give up? Or to have to write again to feel worthwhile? Would it show a me with all of Imogene's failures and none of her successes? I kind of worried about all of he above. But in the end, it really was a great film and the message surrounding Imogene's playwriting seemed to be about knowing who you are, owning it, and then trusting yourself enough to make art again-- and I think that's a really great message.
Harper's Rating: 4.4 / 5
Humor is driven more by events than dialogue (it's a pro for some people, but I am not picky in that sense)
Darren Criss as a Backstreet Boys impersonator
Darren Criss wearing eyeliner as a Backstreet Boys impersonator
George Bousche, the spy
There's a sincerity about this movie that I really like
Check out Girl Most Likely on netflix!