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LAGGIES (review)

Review by Caitlyn Thompson
Produced by Craig Chapman, Kevin Scott Frakes, 
Steve Golin, Kyle Dean Jackson, Alix Madigan, 
Myles Nestel, Raj Brinder Singh, Rosalie Swedlin
Written by Andrea Seigel
Directed by Lynn Shelton
Starring Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz, 
Sam Rockwell, Kaitlyn Dever, Jeff Garlin, 
Ellie Kemper, Mark Webber, Daniel Zovatto

Laggies is an amalgam of goofy-satirical, rom-com, coming of age stories.

It meanders on the edge of silly and serious seemingly not quite sure of itself, which I suppose, mirrors the film’s main character, Megan (Keira Knightly), an unmotivated twenty-eight year old content on floating through life without any substantial plans for the future.

She can’t decide what she wants to do, so settles on just being. Being lazy. Being ambivalent. Being funny, sometimes hurt and heartbroken, but mainly manages to be awkwardly charming throughout the film.

Laggies opens with Megan dancing on the curb with a big advertisement arrow pointing to her father’s business.

She turns on her iPod and seems to enjoy the ease of her mindless job. Laziness is easy, not satisfying, but still easy.

The story truly begins when Megan flees her friend’s wedding and in an odd moment of panic, she meets a group of teenagers headed by Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz), who need some beers. Of course she helps the kids and enjoys their laid back demeanor. She ultimately finds herself escaping to Annika’s home for a break from her stagnant relationships with her longtime boyfriend and once tight-knit high school group, now a tight-ass conservative group of cliché “successful” women.

Now it’s time for the sex appeal to move the film forward.

Sam Rockwell, as Annika’s father is, as ever, awesome. He’s funny, his timing never falters. He shares father-daughter banter with Moretz well, which is amusing yet too quick witted to be believable. The trio is lost in their own confusion and desires. Stuck in a floating space, each trying to find solace or amusement in whatever way they can.

Are the relationships between these characters deep?

Not really. Therefore it’s hard to feel sympathetic towards anyone. The tension is comical but not realistic.

Keira Knightly’s performance, however, does stand out. Her awkward demeanor and great timing are fun to watch, and a step outside any work I’ve seen her do before. And for that I say kudos to the actress. I see potential for great future roles.

Lynn Shelton portrays Megan’s (Keira Knightly) charm with child-like bounce, and the strict but bravado-filled mannerisms of Sam Rockwell are long and still, making every prolonged stare hilarious and sexy. Moretz is solid and is natural in front of the camera, always with sincerity in her eyes—I’m waiting to see what she can do in a few years. The camera work is mellow and fun, almost nostalgic in feeling, and it reflects Seigel’s funny script nicely, but the story is unsteady, so even while looking nice it feels incomplete.

Regardless of the pitfalls in Laggies, it’s funny, entertaining, and the cast is great, but because neither the plot nor characters reveal any depth, the performances become campy and the story, unrealistic. The beginning satisfaction doesn’t linger despite the pleasurable comedy of the movie.

I’m conflicted. I like it, but I’m disappointed.

I want something more.

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