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Weekly Watch: ‘Girl Most Likely’

| Wednesday, September 24, 2014

web_weekly watchSARA SHOEMAKE | The Observer
After college, there is always a fear that the graduate’s exciting and organized plans will not come to fruition, thus forcing them to move back home with mom and dad. It’s a trend that’s seemingly more and more common, and it is the possibility that Michelle Morgan’s script in “Girl Most Likely” attempts to explore.

“Girl Most Likely” stars Kristen Wiig as a failed New York playwright. After initial excitement about her potential, she is forced to face the fact that she never really took off and that no one is all that interested in what she has to say anymore. When her career plummets and her relationship fails, Wiig’s character Imogene stages a suicide attempt that lands her back in the custody of her mother (Annette Bening).

Imogene’s move back home to New Jersey brings with it a number of surprises. Her old bedroom is no longer her own, her mother having taken on a boarder (Darren Criss). In addition, her mother’s new boyfriend (Matt Dillon) has taken up residence, and Imogene is forced to face the fact that her home is not the same as she left it.

The end goal for Imogene is always to leave New Jersey again and reach the success she’s already had and lost. Returning home is the ultimate sign of her failure in Manhattan, and so, of course, Imogene is obviously unhappy about it.

The film was screened under the title “Imogene” at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival before being released in July 2013 by Lionsgate.

Though some of its writing received negative reviews, the film’s casting is what really made it stand out. Deborah Young in The Hollywood Reporter said, “the film’s great strength is its intuitive casting.” This is clear just by looking at the names.

Kristen Wiig’s memorable performances on “Saturday Night Live” and in the 2011 blockbuster “Bridesmaids” give credit to her ability to be a comedian.

Fans of “Glee” will recognize Darren Criss from his role as Blaine Anderson. “Girl Most Likely” is his feature film debut and reviews credit him as one of the better parts of the film.

Annette Bening acts as Wiig’s gambling-addict mother, Zelda. She has been nominated for four Oscars for her roles in “The Kids Are All Right,” “Being Julia,” “American Beauty” and “The Grifters.”

The directors, husband-and-wife pair Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, received an Academy Award for their first feature film, “American Splendor,” in 2003. Since then, they have worked on “The Nanny Diaries” and “The Extra Man” together.

Christopher Schobert, on the website The Playlist, commended the casting choices as well, praising Wiig for her likability. He said, “that likability oozes from every scene in ‘Imogene,’ Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s occasionally winning, a touch too sitcom-y, but often very funny look at one woman’s offbeat family and her attempts at discovering just what went wrong on the road to success.”

While “Girl Most Likely” may never have the comedic success that “Bridesmaids” clearly did for Wiig, her performances are almost always enjoyable for a lazy afternoon. Her comedic skills with the surprising likability of Darren Criss surely make this movie worth a watch.

“Girl Most Likely” is available for streaming on Netflix.

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About Caelin Miltko

I am a senior English and Irish language major, with a minor in Journalism. I spent the last year abroad in Dublin, Ireland and am currently a Walsh RA living in Pangborn.

Contact Caelin