July 24, 2013 – Hollywood’s newest romantic comedy formula: Write an offbeat, witty script and ask Kristen Wiig to star. She pulls off “outside of the box” better than most these days.
In “Girl Most Likely”, Wiig plays a character similar to her “Bridesmaids” character, a down on her luck female who’s descending spiral forces her to move back in with her mother, and things get a lot worse before they get better. Same formula, slightly different story.
Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. For now, it works for Wiig because she’s a competent actress who plays this character type well, and is supported by the wonderful cast around her, namely Annette Bening and Matt Dillon, both in hilarious roles that add to the storyline. Ask me if the formula continues to be successful after a few more movies, and I might have a different opinion.
Perhaps the thing I like best about this formula is that Wiig is a woman of a certain age (she turns 40 next month), and she is still offered romantic, albeit quirky lead roles. I’m not sure if we can call her America’s Sweetheart like Meg Ryan back in the day, but it’s great to see women over 25 considered as the romantic interest.
The film takes place in New York City, and in Ocean City, N.J., a vacation resort for folks that live on the east coast, in the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Bening spends a good portion of the film in a Mack and Manco tee-shirt, something locals can relate to as a business offering arguably the best pizza on the boardwalk. Mack and Manco, now known as just Manco and Manco in Ocean City rules, and always will.
The premise of “Girl Most Likely” isn’t going to change the world or make you think about philosophy or any other deeper subject. It’s meant to be silly fun and it is. Wiig stars as Imogene, a writer for a New York magazine and a failed playwright who loses her boyfriend, her job and her fancy Manhattan pad, and after an unfortunate attempt to gain attention, lands back in her childhood home in Ocean City, in the same state her well to do and snobby friends poke fun at every time they are reminded she is from New Jersey.
Imogene arrives home only to find her mother (Bening) has moved in her new boyfriend (the hilarious Dillon). Her brother still resides there as well, played by a charming Christopher Fitzgerald, and her mother has taken on a new border (Darren Criss) who has taken over her old room.
The script, written by Michelle Morgan, has plenty of humor with offbeat characters that I am drawn to, and although the ending is predictable, it gave me hearty chuckles. The story is comedy through and through, and there are some tender moments, yet it is not one of those films that emotionally connects you to any character. It is what it is — entertaining.
Rating: 3+ -It’s one of those films you can wait for on DVD, yet it is better than OK that typically is attached to a 3.
5. Great Movie, see it now
4. Good movie and worth the price of admission
3. It’s OK, but I’d wait for the DVD
2. Proceed with caution
1. Don’t bother