Movie Review - Girl Most Likely

Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman direct a scene that is toward the beginning of this film. It's a point-of-view shot where the camera lens is the stand-in for the main character's eyes and it walks through a room and into a bathroom, ending with the camera looking almost directly into a mirror, but instead of seeing the camera, we see Kristen Wiig who plays Imogene Duncan, an aspiring writer living in Manhattan. She looks at herself for an extended period of time and it's not until you think about it in retrospect that you realize that just as the camera isn't seeing itself, Imogene isn't really seeing herself either.

As we come to see, there are things that she's not getting, things to which she's blind. One of note is that her relationship with her boyfriend Peter is over. It's way over. He's so checked out that it couldn't have happened over night, but yet Imogene appears shocked when Peter finally has to sit her down and tell her that he's moving out their shared apartment.

Screenwriter Michelle Morgan has Imogene fall into a depression as a result, which I didn't like. Her sadness and pathetic nature leads her to commit a desperate act, which establishes how extreme the character can get, but it doesn't endear us to Imogene.

It also somewhat trivializes suicide. Morgan probably felt like she needed a way to throw Imogene back into the Jersey shore and under the roof of her eccentric, gambling addicted mother Zelda, played by Annette Bening, as well as her brother Ralph who's still living at home, probably because he's slightly autistic. Yet, Morgan didn't need to go about getting Imogene there in that fashion.

The rest of the film is pretty well done as a slightly serious comedy that's mostly quirky. Darren Criss from the TV series Glee is typecast here as Lee, a Whiffenpoof or essentially a glee club singer who attends Yale University. Lee is also the lead in a Backstreet Boys cover band. Lee is a young, sexy breath of fresh air that at first smells stinky to Imogene but an interesting relationship develops, which I liked. They bonded over writing for which I'm a sucker.

Imogene's relationship with her brother is one that I also liked. Christopher Fitzgerald plays Ralph and he's funny but he's also so sweet. His obsession with crabs and the idea of animals with shells was a nice obsession to give him. There was no sibling rivalry. It was all love, which I really appreciated. It was in contrast to Imogene's relationship to her mother, which is way more complicated and combative. It was also in great contrast to Imogene's relationship with Zelda's boyfriend George, played by Matt Dillon.

The conflict between Imogene and George was good to have and I thought Dillon was great in the role. He's so sincere and earnest in all the things he says. Most of which is insane. George claims to be a samurai and formerly in the CIA, and the running gag is whether he's telling the truth or whether he's simply crazy. I think Dillon does a brilliant job of having you think that either situation could be correct, while still every minute being supremely sexy.

That being said, the ending to this movie attempts to answer the mystery surrounding George, and it just turns out to be stupid and over-the-top. It takes the movie in a direction that feels alien, totally foreign to the quirky atmosphere established until then. It practically kills the movie for me.

In terms of acting, Kristen Wiig is pretty much doing the same thing she was doing in Bridesmaids. I like her in this mode, but it's nothing new on her part. It's different than the bizarre characters she did on Saturday Night Live, but in a lot of ways her rather straight character here is just as funny or can be, even though she's more or less reacting to funny things around her.

I think one of the themes or messages of this film is one that is pretty plainly ripped from The Wizard of Oz (1939), but I think that idea is lost in this. Imogene's central problem is a form of writer's block, but it's writer's block that not only prevents her from putting words to paper but also, as previously said, blinds her to certain realities around or in front of her.

It's ironic that Imogene puts on a human-size, crab shell made by Ralph because Imogene was already in her own metaphorical shell. It's also further ironic that to break out her metaphorical shell, she had to get into the actual shell. It simply could have been done without the silly George stuff, which comes to literally threaten their lives.

Three Stars out of Five.
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 42 mins.


  1. Good review Marlon. This was possibly, if not, my least favorite of the year. It just was not funny, and even worse, the cast felt like they were all phoning it in, doing whatever it was they could for a laugh or a moment of sentimentality.


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