BY KILEY BELL
After 2011’s unbelievable smash hit Bridesmaids, it was pretty evident the world had high hopes for the ensemble of funny ladies that made the film so memorable. For the most part, they did not disappoint. Melissa McCarthy starred alongside Jason Bateman in Identity Thief and quickly followed it with the buddy cop film The Heat, proving she’s always ready to make us laugh. Rebel Wilson did smaller, slightly lackluster roles in Bachelorette and What to Expect When You’re Expecting before finally make us fall in love with her all over again in her role as Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect. Maya Rudolph continued her over-the-top Saturday Night Live-esque character Ava Alexander in television show Up All Night (until it was ultimately cancelled) and pleased us all in this summer’s indie darling, The Way Way Back. Even Ellie Kemper had successful guest spots in two episodes of The Mindy Project and the film 21 Jump Street (although the writing might have helped her performances more than anything). All eyes eventually turned to Kristen Wiig. She played the main character in Bridesmaids, yes, but more importantly she was part of the writing duo behind the film and the reason for our side-splitting laughter throughout it. We waited patiently for Wiig to appear on our screens again, and finally our prayers were answered.
Girl Most Likely (originally titled Imogene when it premiered at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival) stars Kristen Wiig as the title character once more, although this time as a darker, quirkier and perhaps more heartfelt version of her than we’re used to seeing.
As a failed playwright that gets broken up with by her boyfriend and loses her job–one that she didn’t even like in the first place–in the same day, Imogene responds rashly by faking a suicide attempt. Of course, this goes horribly awry as it lands her in the custody of her gambling-addicted, Jersey shore-living, estranged mother (played perfectly by Annette Bening, one of the greater highlights of the film). Imogene is forced to live at her childhood home under the same roof as her mother, her mother’s boyfriend (played by Matt Dillon) who claims he is in the CIA, her socially awkward brother, and the attractive boarding graduate that lives in her old room (forget everything you’ve seen Darren Criss do in Glee, this is definitely him at his finest thus far).
With the quirky and awkward cast of characters, this story reads as a surprisingly heartfelt struggle to build your life back up while being forced to deal with whatever asinine and absurd obstacles you encounter along the way. While it might not be Bridesmaids funny as many disappointed critics have been quick to point out, it’s not supposed to be. It’s important to realize that Kristen Wiig didn’t write the script for Girl Most Likely, she merely took the character she was given and played it the best she could. For that (and for Annette Bening and Darren Criss) this movie is definitely worth watching… so long as you keep an open mind about what the film is trying to accomplish (and no, do not expect any scenes where food poisoning turns the world into a personal toilet for the whole cast).
A student of Centennial’s post-graduate Book and Magazine publishing program, Kiley enjoys spending most of her time crying over Tom Hanks romcoms, watching Downton Abbey and hoping that Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen continue making movies with only each other.