Lionsgate // 2012 // 104 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // November 23rd, 2013
She has a lot to live up to. And a few things to live down.
You know when you have a favorite band, and they release something new right after a big hit? And you hear the new song and think "This is really different than that other song. I am not sure I like this, but I have to give them credit for trying something new."
Well, Kristen Wiig is trying something different than her runaway smash hit Bridesmaids with Girl Most Likely. This is a more thoughtful and somber comedy, all about quieter characters in less lighthearted situations. The comedy is softer, but deals with deeper emotions and issues. It's an interesting diversion that I found entertaining, but many will question what she's doing here.
Wiig plays the lead Imogene. She is a woman who has lost everything, including a handsome boyfriend, a cushy magazine job, and a posh Manhattan apartment. A once-promising playwright, she has to flee to Jersey to shack up with her mom (Annette Bening, American Beauty). The only problem is that mom has a live-in boyfriend (Matt Dillon, There's Something About Mary) and a tenant (Darren Criss, Glee), who is renting her room. Also, her brother (Christopher Fitzgerald, Revolutionary Road) has developed an armored suit that looks like an armadillo.
Girl Most Likely deals with the depression and the emotional rock bottom of its lead, and that makes it far less funny than Bridesmaids. It has comic moments, but they are often quirky bits that make you smile more than laugh out loud. The characters are what we are studying. They seem believable, not exaggerated, for the most part. There is the standard comedy climax where everything explodes, but for the most part this is a quiet film about a woman living a life of quiet desperation until she finds a way to focus again on what is important. It's actually pretty darn neat when you look at it that way, and it shows that Kristen Wiig who has a wider range than I would have ever guessed.
The Girl Most Likely (Blu-ray) features a nice transfer with plenty of well-rendered detail. The color palette is pale and muted, looking washed out, but this evolves out of an artistic choice rather than a problem with any technical concerns. There is a five-channel Dolby surround lossless audio transfer, but it is largely unnecessary other than during scenes like when a tribute is given to the Backstreet Boys. It's a quiet flick with a muted color and sound palette, so nothing is going to stretch your home system to any new heights. Extras are a simple gag reel, a very standard making-of piece, and 2 minutes of deleted scenes. The best one is footage of "the human shell" on the streets of NYC with what one can only assume are real reactions to it.
Girl Most Likely is a flick everyone skipped in the multiplexes, but home video will hopefully provide a new audience to appreciate its small charms. On TV, it works great, and this may be the perfect setting to experience it. You have a dynamite cast, a script that has the right beats, and plenty of time to appreciate the journey of Imogene and her dysfunctional family. This isn't Bridesmaids 2, and that is a reason to rejoice in many ways. It's a far more meditative comedy that finds a quiet voice to tell its tale. There's nothing wrong with that, even though it got the film dismissed as a flop upon release. I found it entertaining, and it made me think in all the right ways throughout. It's a hidden gem of a release that is well worth checking out.
Not guilty of being anything other than a nice independent comedy with a dynamite cast.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 104 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
* Gag Reel
* Digital Copy
* UltraViolet Download