The critics have been unkind to Girl Most Likely, a film in which Imogene (Kristen Wiig), a Manhattan playwright, has been rejected by her boyfriend, a job, and some friends, and loses her apartment. To get the ex’s attention and/or sympathy, she stages a fake suicide attempt, which backfires. She winds up in the hospital, and the discharge plan involves living with her estranged mother Zelda (Annette Bening), a gambling addict.
Or, Another Movie Description…
Sara Stewart, New York Post:
This lazy comedy plays like a round of Quirky Indie Mad Libs: Kristen Wiig is a struggling New York (blank) who freaks out when (blank) and ends up back in Nowheresville, (blank), with her trashy mom who (blank) and her weird brother who (blank). (Playwright; she loses her job and boyfriend; New Jersey; wears a lot of leopard print; wants to be a human hermit crab.)
Surely the Cast Makes This Worth Seeing?
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap: “‘Girl Most Likely’ is the kind of movie destined to become the answer to the rhetorical question, ‘With a cast this good, how bad can it be?’ You might think that any film featuring Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon and Darren Criss (not to mention supporting turns by Bob Balaban, Natasha Lyonne and June Diane Raphael) would have some redeeming qualities, but you would be incorrect.”
Are There Any Interesting Characterizations That Defy One Unified Mental Health Assessment? (That Would Be Ralph, Imogene’s Brother)
Sara Stewart, New York Post: “Broadway regular Christopher Fitzgerald brings the Zack Galifianakis-y edge as Imogene’s brother, Ralph, a mess of vaguely sketched agoraphobic dysfunction.”
Rex Reed, New York Observer: “Mentally challenged kid brother Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald) wears oversized T-shirts that say ‘Crab Villa’ (emphasizing his obsession with all things crustacean) and crawls around on the floor inside a fiberglass mollusk shell.”
Other descriptions from top reviewers include “socially awkward,” “unusual,” “stunted,” “simple,” “intellectually disabled,” “special-needs,” and “unique.”
What Went Wrong?
The opinion of Theresa Basile (Bitch Magazine) is by and large echoed in many other reviews:
Because there was a lot to enjoy about Girl Most Likely, I tried not to be overly critical just because it wasn’t the movie I expected. In the wise words of Marlo Stanfield from The Wire, ‘You want it to be one way. But it’s the other way.’ It’s not the film’s fault that I expected something different after reading the premise. I tried to judge the movie for what it was, not for what I wanted it to be.
But even after putting my expectations aside, I couldn’t help but notice two glaring flaws in the film: 1) Imogene isn’t likable and 2) the story trivializes suicide…
I don’t think I need to explain why portraying a faked suicide as a mere sitcom quirk is a problem, do I? Good.
One More Flaw Definitely Worth Mentioning: The Script
Claudia Puig, USA Today: “The story is dull, hollow and almost painful to sit through.”