SDFF 2014: Laggies (2014)

Directed by Lynn Shelton

Written by Andrea Seigel

**I had the pleasure of seeing this movie on Day 2 of the San Diego Film Festival. It was so much and I had a blast watching it with my fellow blogger friend James. Be sure to follow him guys, he is a riot! I wish I could have more movie nights with my bloggers, I am sure it would be entertaining to say the least. Enjoy!

The idea of being a female twenty-something, a millennial living in society today, has become a recent hot topic. Think of HBO’s Girls and the film Obvious Child, growing up is hard and the way our mother’s and grandmother’s grew up is a lot different than it is today. Women have choices now, they don’t have to get married at 21 and they can choose to follow their dream jobs without being scoffed. With all the choices out there and the pressure at the same time to conform to the norms of marriage and childbirth, young women today are having an even harder time to figure out what to do with their lives.

I can personally say as a thirty-something, who doesn’t have kids, that living for yourself, and by that I mean doing whatever is that you want to do, whether it be travelling the world to write or to work at a bank or to be a stay at home mom, sometimes get in the way of what other people want for you. In the film Laggies, directed by Lynn Shelton, 28 year old Megan (Keira Knightly), has a post-quarter life crisis, feeling pressured from everyone around her to be who they want her to be, she decides to basically take a sabbatical from her life and retreat from the ones she loves.

When she touches the nipples of a Buddha statue at her friend Allison’s (Ellie Kemper) bachelorette party, they look at her with disdain and tell her she really needs to get her crap together and stop being so childish. Megan lies to her friends about her job at her father’s (Jeff Garlin) tax company, she makes herself sound more successful, but really she is just a sign spinner for his business.

Her boyfriend Anthony (Mark Webber) who she has dated since high school wants to get married and wants her to figure out what to do with her life. He proposes to her and she suggests going on a personal retreat to get her life together and when she returns she promises they will get married.

On her way home from her friend’s wedding, distraught and confused from all the decisions she must make, she meets a group of teenagers, Annika (Chloe Grace Mertz) the boldest of them, comes up to her and pleads with her to buy them alcohol. Most adults would probably say no, but instead Megan complies and not only buys them booze, but decides to stick around and hang out and drink with them. Hanging out with them seems a lot easier, than making big life decisions.

Instead of going to the retreat, Megan decides to spend a week hiding out at Annika’s house. Her father, Craig (Sam Rockwell) is a divorcee, when he meets Megan he is equally confused as to why this older chick is hanging out with his 16 year old daughter and sleeping over. She makes up a story and he allows her to stay there while she gets her apartment, supposedly figured out. What ensues from there is a whirlwind story of learning how to make hard decisions in life and maturing in the process.

I really enjoyed this movie, it was funny and light-hearted, yet it had its moments where the story was deeper than what was shown at the surface level. I am so used to seeing Knightly as a serious actress, nine times out of ten she is wearing a period costume to top it off, so to see her looking like an average girl was refreshing. I feel like I always expect Knightly to be equally smart in her films and in this one, she really is not, she is the opposite type of person that she normally plays.

Rockwell was probably my favorite out of the whole cast. The character of the father was not only funny, but he brings to it his own sensibility and dead pan humor.

Mertz was also good, she is able to play against established actors with ease and she brings a lot of depth to a teenage character. Although she has her moments, where she acts like a typical teenager who laughs about nonsense, she can hit the deep notes to create a profound moment. Garlin is always fun to watch on screen and he is compassionate and heartwarming in his role as the father.

I think a lot of people could relate to the characters in the film and can say they have probably felt like one of them at some point in their life. This is definitely a fun movie that is worth watching and is perfect for a date or a night out with girlfriends.