When Kristen Wiig’s career rocketed off the back of the immensely popular comedy Bridesmaids, many had expected the talented actress to continue on in much of the same fashion. However, having not returned to the writing process herself, she has appeared in a small handful of mediocre productions ever since, and regrettably, Shari Sprinher Berman and Robert Pulcini’s Girl Most Likely is yet another to add to the list.
Wiig plays Imogene, a failing playwright who finds herself in emotional turmoil when her boyfriend calls time on their relationship, while she desperately struggles to come to terms with the fact her career is not quite what it could have been. Faking a suicide in a bid for attention, on doctor’s orders she returns back to her family home in New Jersey, to be reunited with her mother (Annette Bening) and younger brother (Christopher Fitzgerald). However she must also contend with Lee (Darren Criss) who is lodging in her old room, and her mother’s mysterious, so-called CIA agent boyfriend The Bousche (Matt Dillon). Though completely reluctant in returning home and away from her New York apartment, perhaps this trip down memory lane is exactly what she needs to get back on her feet.
The first, and most prominent thought when leaving the cinema having seen Girl Most Likely, is just how odd this piece of cinema is, as a film that is simply incomparable to any film of a similar ilk. There’s no distinct structure to this title, as it almost shadows the haphazard livelihood of our unstable protagonist. At times it’s overtly conventional and hackneyed, while at others it’s unique and creative, managing to find a balance between the two, yet never quite knowing exactly what type of film it’s trying to be, as a film that, affectionately, could be described as being a shambles.
There is certainly more heart to this than there is humour, with a heartwarming element running through the middle of it, particularly where Imogene’s lonely, younger brother is concerned. With very few laughs to this, Girl Most Likely suffers from having a mediocre screenplay, but where it definitely doesn’t falter, is within the casting of Wiig. She’s just so immensely likeable and relatable and her comic timing is impeccable. She has such an endearing factor to her, and when everything goes wrong for her you genuinely care, as though watching one of your close friends up on the big screen.
It’s a well structured character she has to work with too, and one we are first introduced to, for just a short sequence, in the first person, as the viewer embodies Imogene. This is a clever move because instantly a rapport and intimacy is formed between the viewer and the character as we get into her head before we’ve even seen what she looks like. Meanwhile, on a side note, it’s really pleasing to see Dillon back on the big screen. In anything, really.
Feeling somewhat similar to the likes of Frances Ha, in that it’s a self-discovery tale of a woman finding herself, this does just lack that bit of class required to completely pull it off. Talking of which, Woody Allen’s latest picture Blue Jasmine is coming out on the very same day, and if you really want to see a film depicting the emotional decline of a single woman, then there really is only one option, and sadly this isn’t it.