Monday, November 10, 2014

Movie Review: "Laggies" (2014)

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Director: Lynn Shelton
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes

Megan (Keira Knightley) is a 28-year-old woman with a masters degree who has been with the same boyfriend, Anthony (Mark Webber), and the same group of friends since high school. She is at a point in her life where she is unsure about her future, yet everyone is pressuring her to pick a career and settle down. Circumstances in her life lead Megan to want to take some time to herself to reflect. She makes up an excuse to leave home and winds up staying with a teenager named Annika (Chloƫ Grace Moretz), who Megan met a couple nights earlier after buying alcohol for her and her friends. Annika's father Craig (Sam Rockwell) is unsure about letting a woman in her 20's hang out with his teenage daughter, but after a short interrogation, he lets her stay. During the week, Megan becomes close to both Annika and Craig and starts to think it is time for some big changes in her life.

While this film tries really hard to be poignant about Megan and her "quarter-life crisis" (the new it-phrase for my generation), it winds up being a pretty basic and formulaic romance story shrouded in something that wants so desperately to be better than it is. There are a lot of unlikable characters in this movie. From the beginning, you can tell that Megan has been distancing herself from her friends, whether intentionally or not, plus, her three closest pals are quite intolerable and catty. Beyond this, they all fit the stereotype of what it is supposed to mean to be an adult. They get married, have kids with ridiculous and ~*unique snowflake~* names, they get jobs that are above that of being a sign flipper on a street corner, they build restaurants with gigantic Buddha statues with huge nipples, you know, the "normal" adult things to do. I might be an atypical 20-something, but none of what appeals to her friends appeals to me in the slightest, and it seems like this movie is targeting people my age. Your 20's and even your 30's are a time where you're supposed to explore who you are and what you want out of life, whether it's building a family, or building some new technology, or building a blog with a cult following from scratch. Not everyone is destined to fit into the perfect societal mold, and not everyone should be expected to do so. The world would be so boring if we were all like her annoying friends, little clones of one another wandering through life out of routine. In the end, we watch Megan flit about in a highly unrealistic situation (again, suspension of disbelief is required a bit here) where she questions whether or not the guy she's with and the group of friends she keeps and the life she lives is right for her, or if she's living life out of comfort and habit.

The whole thing feels like it wants to be something profound but ends up being a bunch of people sitting around bitching about their lives. We think it just goes to show that you need to be willing to let your friends and lovers go if they grow up to be dicks. It's okay if people grow apart, but why hang onto them if they can't accept you for who you are, exploring your possibilities or not? Though we usually like Sam Rockwell and all of his charm, he's not utilized to his full potential in this movie. Keira Knightley is quirky and also charming, but sort of a jerk at the same time. Her American accent is excellent. If you didn't know she was British, you couldn't tell by watching this. All in all, we admire its ambition, though, in the end, it wound up being a cliche Hollywood rom-dram-com that is fairly boring and a bit dry at times. We had such high hopes.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 67%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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