“Girl Most Likely,” an indie comedy produced and starring “Bridesmaids” leading lady Kristen Wiig, finds her playing a similarly damaged and vulnerable character in this film as she did in “Bridesmaids.” But unlike “Bridesmaids,” “Girl Most Likely” lacks the true laugh out loud moments to make this an appealing comedy.
Debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012 under the title “Imogen” (Wiig’s character), the film sees Wiig as a recently dumped and recently unemployed aspiring playwright who moves back home to small town New Jersey and is greeted by an eclectic cast of kooky characters. If you’re thinking this sounds like an uninspired “Garden State” rehash, you’re probably right. It’s a little bit too familiar and about ten years too late.
What this film has going for it, if nothing else, is star-power and everyone puts forth an honest effort, but it’s not enough to overpower the weak concept. Darren Criss stands out as he attempts to break free from the Alpha-Gay Blaine on “Glee” role he’s best known for as love interest, Lee. It’s a suspect casting choice on paper as the thought of Criss and Wiig as a couple doesn’t exactly sound promising considering the (fourteen year) age difference, but they make it work.
Also excellent in a supporting role is June Diane Raphael (“Bride Wars”) as good “friend” to Imogen Dara. Raphael, who really got to showcase her comedic chops on Yahoo’s online series “Burning Love” could have been utilized more to keep a light edge to a movie that moves towards the depressing too often.
Annette Bening appears as Imogen’s quirky mom, Zelda who is shacking up with the equally quirky George, A.K.A. “The Bousche” played by Matt Dillon. Both are good in their roles but in the case of Bening, you can’t help but feel like you’ve seen it all before.
As far as Wiig’s performance goes; while in isolation it’s not bad, it adds very little to her resume and fails to showcase her strengths. You can’t even say it’s an attempt at diversification of roles as her character and the tone of her performance is very close to the role she played in “Bridesmaids.” The biggest difference between the two roles is that in “Bridesmaids,” Wiig also wrote the script so she had much better material to work with than she does in this boring jaunt through Jersey.
The uninspired story, written by Michelle Morgan and directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (both of “American Splendor” and “The Nanny Diaries”) has little meat to it and provides very few laughs to make up for it. It feels like we never really get to the heart of Wiig’s character, we just sleepwalk through the movie with her. Even after 100 minutes with her, it doesn’t feel like we know much more about her than what we learned in the first five minutes, that she had kind of a crappy week.
As a whole, the film falls into many of the typical indie comedy trappings from the plinky, plunky soundtrack, and unconventional romantic pairing right down to the veteran actors and actresses as parent figures.
The Blu-ray is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and looks sharp in high-definition. The majority of the film takes place in well-lit, bright scenes, so there’s very little grain.
The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is more than sufficient for the film. There’s not a lot of big sound effects to really take advantage of the 5.1 setup, but the background music always sounds good and dialogue is always clear and there aren’t any volume issues causing you to turn the volume up or down from scene to scene.
“Girl Most Likely” doesn’t offer a lot in special features. It has the usual deleted scenes as well as a gag real and two “Making Of” featurettes. The Blu-ray also comes with a digital edition of the movie through Vudu.
“Girl Most Likely” inadvertently (I hope) sums itself up within the first ten minutes of the movie when Imogen’s boss, while firing her reads back one of Imogen’s play synopses, “It’s an insignificant, if not irritating amalgam of lackluster performances and sitcom one-liners.” While I’ll give the performances a little more credit here, the insignificance of this film is actually quite significant and hopefully will be a footnote at best in Wiig’s career as a leading comedienne.
If you’re looking for a strong indie comedy, check out “The Way Way Back,” and if you’re looking for some Kristen Wiig, try “Friends With Kids” and leave “Girl Most Likely” where you’re most likely to find it, in the bargain bin.