Girl Most Likely (2013)
Girl Most Likely (2013)

Genre: Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 43 min.

Release Date: July 19th, 2013 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini Actors: Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, Darren Criss, Christopher Fitzgerald, June Diane Raphael, Mickey Sumner, Elizabeth Inghram

 


 

A

rriving at a “Where the Art Is” Foundation presentation in New York, aspiring playwright Imogene Duncan (Kristen Wiig) finally grasps the fact that her boyfriend Peter (Brian Petsos) doesn’t want to commit and definitely has another girl on the sly. On the cab ride home, he breaks up with her; this is followed by the loss of her uninspiring job at a magazine, where she’s intended to prosaically summarize theater pieces instead of reviewing them analytically. Although truly depressed, Imogene invents a fake suicide scenario in an attempt to gain back Peter’s attention, if only momentarily.

The plan backfires when she awakens in a psychiatric ward and can only be released to her mother, Zelda (Annette Bening), a gambling-addicted woman who frequently sacrificed her daughter’s happiness for her own frivolities. Immediately rebelling from the idea of reuniting with her estranged parent, Imogene is sedated, only to wake up alone again, this time in Zelda’s car, parked at a casino. With no one left to turn to, she’s resigned to moving back in with her mother, living in Ocean City, New Jersey, where she’s relegated to a fortress of sheets set up in the study. Her old room has been rented to a young graduate named Lee (Darren Criss) and Zelda has acquired a new live-in beau who claims to work for the CIA, possessing the hokey alias George Bousche (Matt Dillon). Her world is further turned upside down when she discovers that her father, Maxwell P. Duncan (Bob Balaban), a man she was led to believe had died when she was young, is still alive and a successful author in New York.

Wiig once again plays the downtrodden, out of luck, financially unsound, middle-aged woman with a completely mediocre existence. She has no prospects, background, hope for the future, or significant romantic interests, struggling to communicate with humanity and incorrectly assuming that desperation will sprout opportunities. Her friends are younger, prettier, and more prosperous. She’s a total underdog, continually surrounded by people that are bad for her. She’s an adult who can’t quite cut it as an adult. But could it be that all she really needs is an attitude adjustment? Her unlikely association with Peter, brimming with confidence, enthusiasm, and prideful risk-taking, is the therapeutic energy necessary to jumpstart her transformation.

Her mission to find her lost father is an opportunity to reconnect with family – while determining the importance of relationships and support. Those with well-meaning but deceitful motives evolve into the more beneficial network, while the comfort and sustenance she’s certain she’ll find from accomplished, advantageous companions remains cheerlessly slippery. Though the premise is amusing, Wiig’s hysteria resorts to slapstick-oriented comic routines, with embarrassment and ridicule as her constant sidekicks. The humor is bleak and dejecting, yet funny in a darkly quirky way, not unlike the appeal of “Bridesmaids,” with its steadily increasing entertainment value through negative ordeals. Choosing friends poorly, disillusionment, wasted potential, second chances, and finding contentment in unexpected values are lingering notions that reveal revelations about goals and love. The originality might be lacking, but the message is sweet and simple (despite a bevy of unfortunate events keeping the tone woebegone), highlighted by a superbly written part for Christopher Fitzgerald as Ralph, Imogene’s awkward brother, who symbolically crafts a mollusk-like shell of bulletproof metal for protection in harrowing social situations. He’s the equivalent to Melissa McCarthy’s Megan in “Bridesmaids,” arranged in a subtler, more poignant form of emotional foundation.

– Mike Massie

  • 6/10