Review: Girl Most Likely

Girl Most Likely is Kristen Wiig’s (SNL) much anticipated follow-up film to Bridesmaids.  Co-directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, the film focuses on playwright Imogene Duncan (Wiig) and her integration into moving back home with her gambling-addicted mother Zelda (Annette Bening), after Imogene fakes a suicide attempt to try and get her boyfriend back. Her mother pulls her out of her upscale New York City life and brings her to live back at home in Atlantic City, NJ. Once arriving there, Imogene realizes she’s been thrown into a house full of a mishmash of personalities with Zelda’s boyfriend “George Bush” (Matt Dillon), Imogene’s brother Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald), and room renter Lee (Darren Criss).

girl_most_likelySince this is a Kristen Wiig film, I was expecting there to be lots of laughs per her usual comedic self.  Within the first fifteen minutes of the film, Imogene gets dumped, fakes a suicide, and gets tackled by orderlies trying to escape from her mother at the hospital.  This was a great build up, if the film had followed through with the same kind of energy. There are still plenty of funny moments throughout the film, but they are more subtle with big moments scattered.  The storyline is also on the confusing side.  From the start, the main points of the film are very predictable. There are plenty of moments that address Imogene’s lost sense of direction with her career, which resolves itself, but could have had more development. The same goes with the characters themselves. Though all are relatable and likable, so much more in depth characterization could have happened, which would have been helpful for the plot.

Wiig’s performance in the film is admirable. It’s both personable and believable as Imogene struggles to find herself. Since the film was not a straight up comedy, we get a glimpse into Wiig’s more serious side, and it is commendable. Though Dillon’s character gets star billing, he actually is not featured a great deal in the film.  His character is a “CIA-operative” who can’t tell anyone in the house about anything that he does for work. My problem with Dillon’s performance is that it just seemed like he was playing the same character he did in There’s Something About Mary – which is unfortunate.

Girl Most Likely also marks the first film role for Glee star Darren Criss.  Criss’ performance in the film was outstanding, and at times made the scene. The character of Lee was used as comic relief or as a way to pace Imogene’s storyline. Criss’ music chops were used well, with Criss singing both in a Backstreet Boys cover band and acapella by the Boardwalk. But the real scene stealer of the movie is Christopher Fitzgerald as Ralph.  Introduced as Imogene’s quirky brother who has never gone further than the Boardwalk, he literally and figuratively comes out of his shell and actually becomes the underdog to root for.

The ending completely changed the tone of the whole film, and even further confused me as to what the filmmakers were going for.  If you can overlook the fact that the storyline leaves much to be desired, there are a lot of little things about the film that make it worth seeing. The dialogue alone will make you laugh. But if plot-driven movies are your thing, maybe this movie wouldn’t be your first choice to head to the theaters to watch.

Girl Most Likely is currently in limited release and can be found playing at these theaters.