Starring Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Darren Criss and Matt Dillon
Oh, the world of comedy! I can’t say I am your biggest fan, but every now and again, you give me something I really enjoy and can watch multiple times (see BRIDESMAIDS or MEAN GIRLS). I may not be a connaisseur but I can spot an overdone premise pretty easily. For examply, in GIRL MOST LIKELY, a new comedy starring Kristen Wiig, where she yet again plays the role of a women who loses everything, only to find herself in the end. Does this sound familiar to anyone else or is it just me?
Wiig plays Imogene, a one-time promising playwright who is forced to look at the failed path her life took when a series of events that are out of her control begin to pile up. Her live-in boyfriend leaves her, which sparks a desperate attempt to get him back by faking her own suicide. Her best friend walks in instead of the boyfriend, which lands Imogene in psychiatric care and of course, since the hospital is unable to keep her in their care due to a bed shortage, she is uprooted from her life in NYC and moved back to New Jersey and placed in the care of her mother. Meanwhile, her mother (Annette Bening), has an impulse control problem, a live-in boyfriend (Matt Dillon) who claims to be a CIA operative and goes by the name George Bush (pronounced boo-sh), and to top things off, has rented out Imogene’s room to a casino performer played by Darren Criss.
Imogene slowly begins to patch her life back together after she realizes that this house in New Jersey might be the only thing she has. With little help from her bizarre mother, and her eccentric inventor brother, Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald), what unfolds is a series of not-so-funny jokes that don’t seem to allow Wiig’s ability as a comedienne to really come out. The back and forth between Wiig and her on screen brother has obviously been written by someone who has a sibling, because the dialogue and unspoken affection the two have towards one another is nothing short of believable. Bening is surprisingly amazing in her role as the frustrating mother, and everytime she is on screen (even though her character is terrible), Bening herself is a joy to watch.
When Imogene travels back to NYC to ask for help from her friends, we see that they are nothing by society snobs who are more self-involved than Imogene and offer nothing in the way of sympathy, but happen to make Imogene’s suicide attempt somehow about them. It’s hard to believe that people like that might actually exist, because the characters are some of the most deplorable I have seen in a long time. Perhaps writer, Michelle Morgan, has real life experiences to draw on here but let’s hope not.
Directors Sheri Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini may have been trying to create something along the lines of YOUNG ADULT or BRIDESMAIDS, but they definitely missed the mark. It’s pretty rare to watch a comedy and not laugh at least a few times, but when watching GIRL MOST LIKELY, I cannot, for the life of me, think of a single time that I did laugh. I cringed a few times when Darren Criss performed in a Backstreet Boys tribute band, not so much for the singing, but for the obvious attempts to cash in on his “Glee” status. His debut big screen feature might be a flop at the box office, but there is no denying that Criss has an appeal far beyond the fact that he is pretty good eye candy. Let’s hope his next film is a better choice.
GIRL MOST LIKELY is most likely going to disappoint audiences, which is unfortunate since I am a fan of Wiig, and probably always will be. It’s painful to see actors you like in movies that did nothing for you, but they can’t all be gems, or funny apparently.