Written by Andrea Seigel
Directed by Lynn Shelton
Starring Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz and Sam Rockwell
Megan: Maybe actually, they’re the one’s who are telling the jokes and I am the one who is missing them.
I apologize in advance for this but I have to say that I found LAGGIES lagged a great deal initially. Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I will address why I felt this way. LAGGIES is the latest film from independent filmmaker, Lynn Shelton. The film stars Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell and Chloe Grace Moretz and is, without question, Shelton’s attempt at reaching a wider audience. The film eventually finds its way and a balance between Shelton’s signature charm and a more accessible tone, making it a reasonably successful effort in conventional filmmaking. That said, I’m still not sure Shelton and convention should be in the same sentence, let alone a sentence associated with a film she’s made.
Knightley, donning an American accent, which I always find difficult to fully surrender to, is going nowhere in life. She has a psychology degree but didn’t really dig the work so she now spends her time twirling an arrow sign in the street for her father’s company. Her friends, her boyfriend and her mother have all noticed her aimlessness and tried to address it but she’s very comfortable being lost. When her boyfriend (Mark Webber) proposes, she says yes and then bails for a week to sort herself out. She tells everyone she is at a self actualization seminar but really, she is crashing on a couch belonging to a teenager she met when buying beer for her and her friends (played by Chloe Grace Moretz). On the surface, it would appear that she is regressing but Shelton never allows things to get that facile.
Traditional Hollywood structure dictates that people come together at just the right time to serve the story and help the character complete his or her arc. In LAGGIES, Shelton makes the situation seem not only plausible but actually fated. Grace Moretz’s character is lacking a mother figure and Knightley’s character has lacked direction since she was roughly a teenager. Sometimes people come into our lives at the precise moment we need them to, even in real life. So while Shelton may be selling out with LAGGIES to some extent, she does so without sacrificing her integrity or respect for reality.