Girl Most Likely (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, PG-13)

film gir-least-likely 75With the release of Girl Most Likely, another family joins the ensemble of film and television’s dysfunctional families.



film girl-least-likely

Failed playwright Imogene (Kristen Wiig) is forced—literally against her will—to return to her New Jersey hometown where her younger brother (Christopher Fitzgerald) and gambling mother (Annette Bening) reside. She has not been home in years and immediately feels further inconvenienced by new housemates George (Matt Dillon)—aka The Bousche—and Lee (Darren Criss), the latter residing in the room she had once called her own. Imogene is forced to reconnect with her family as she gradually discovers she can no longer count on those whom she had considered trusted friends in a movie that is markedly a drama just as much as it is a comedy.

I immediately viewed Imogene’s family as a healthy mix of the Solatanos of Silver Linings Playbook and the Bluths of Arrested Development, with a hint of the Tenenbaums, minus the exaggerated eccentrics. The characterization in this film is easily its most impressive quality. Girl Most Likely contains a cornucopia of personalities and, in addition to being well written, it is well casted. I was particularly intrigued and drawn in by Imogene’s immediate family members. Although a condition is never stated aloud, there is suggestion that Imogene’s younger brother has a mental illness, and Fitzgerald’s portrayal as this individual—a remarkably intelligent and surprisingly in touch crab enthusiast—is impeccable, and I didn’t have trouble believing it for a second. The small, cramped home, which served as the primary setting for the film, sealed the illusion.

Girl Most Likely was more or less my introduction to Wiig as a mainstream actress—I am more familiar with her work on Saturday Night Live than anything else—and this film was a great example of her diverse capabilities as an actress. She manages comedic, situational charm even when cast as a down-on-herself, whiny, and mildly oblivious character. She shares laughs with the rest of the cast with grace, and has a notable chemistry with A Very Potter Musical and Glee‘s Criss, who, as Imogene herself points out, is practically a whole generation younger than herself.

In name, character, and disposition, Imogene is a worthy addition to Wiig’s wide-range of amusingly and well-portrayed characters. Girl Most Likely is a movie in which the supporting actors and actresses are absolutely necessary and will leave you appreciative of the family you have, no matter how embarrassing or quirky, if only because they are unconditional. | Megan Washausen

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