Saturday, July 20, 2013

Girl Most Likely (Rhoades)

“Girl Most Likely”
Likely to Amuse

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

 A cry for help, they call it, when someone stages a suicide attempt in order to win sympathy. It’s the stuff of overly dramatic teenage girls and insecure young women who make bad choices.
Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids”) stars as Imogene, a woman whose cry for help backfires in this comedy directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. Instead of winning back her boyfriend, Imogene winds up in the court-appointed custody of her wacky, former go-go dancer mom.
Her mother Zelda (as played by Oscar-winner Annette Bening) all but steals the show, a difficult task when acting opposite a talented comedienne like Wiig. You’ll recognize Wiig as a one-time fixture of “Saturday Night Live.”
Now playing at the Tropic Cinema, “Girl Most Likely” is a funny look “at one woman’s offbeat family and her attempts at discovering just what went wrong on the road to success.”
A fading playwright, Imogene was having difficulty with her career when the relationship with her boyfriend fell apart. Hence, the suicide ploy.
So Imogen returns to New Jersey. There she finds a strange man (Darren Criss) sleeping in her old bedroom and another weird guy (Matt Dillon) in her mother’s bed.
Can she come to terms with her mom’s eccentricity and her own Jersey roots?
Well, that’s what makes this film funny.
Surprisingly, screenwriter Michelle Morgan is a southern California native who has barely set foot in New Jersey.
Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are the directors of “The Nannie Diaries” and “American Splendor.” As you’ll discover, “Girl Most Likely” has more in common with the latter, a look at oddball characters.
When the comedy debuted at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, it was titled “Imogene.” Critics described it as “a touch too sitcom-y.” So the distributors changed the name. You might call it a cry for help.

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