One question kept running through my mind while watching “Girl Most Likely:” Is this a drama being interrupted by a romantic-comedy, or is this a romantic-comedy being interrupted by a drama? In trying to tell the story of Imogene (Kristin Wiig), a young woman who is going through a bad relationship, fakes an attempted suicide, and is forced to return home to live with her mother (Annette Bening), the film seems just as lost as its main character. It’s a bizarre mixture of clichés, unfunny bits, dramatic elements, and parts that seem like they have no place in the story at all.
Starting from the top, this is another one of those stories where someone is trying to sort their life out after going through a troubled relationship. When Imogene comes home, she obviously doesn’t want to be there, which creates a lot of tension between her mother and her, and with the tenant who is renting out her room, Lee (Darren Criss). For some strange reason, she and Lee really don’t get along, so you already know it’s not going to be too long before they get together, and indeed that’s where the romantic interlude comes in. What’s so awkward about it is that it comes at a time when Imogene has just discovered that her father is still alive after thinking that he’s been dead for several years. Not only is her life completely messed up at the moment, but so are her priorities. Who in their right mind would stop to have a romantic escapade after getting such news?
The story is also populated with a few characters who seem like they just don’t need to be there. Imogene’s brother, Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald), serves no purpose as he runs his crab shop and accompanies Imogene and Lee to New York, dragging along his self-constructed metal Mollusk shell (no, I’m not making this up). There’s also George Bousche (Matt Dillon), Imogene’s mother’s boyfriend, a supposed CIA agent who is staying in the house as well. He’s simply another character that has no purpose in this story except to try to squeeze out a few laughs from the bland screenplay.
The comedy itself was another issue given that there just isn’t anything funny here. The screenplay by Michelle Morgan is semi-autobiographical, so apparently some of these things did happen, but since it’s not a particularly funny situation, trying to squeeze moments of comedy into it just comes off as awkward and desperate. Even the performers seemed to realize this as they just don’t seem to be trying very hard. Unfortunately we have to add yet another dud to Wiig’s list that includes such films as “Bridesmaids,” MacGruber,” and “Friends with Kids.” Though let’s not forget she’s also been involved in some good projects, including voice roles in both “Despicable Me” films and “How to Train Your Dragon.” As for the delightful Annette Bening, let’s just try to pretend that she didn’t get caught up in this mess.
All in all, this is an extremely forgettable film that will more than likely drift from your memory as you’re watching it. Then again, what would you expect from trying to build a film out of clichés and nonsensical pieces, or from having a structure that wanders in such a confused manner? Apparently Morgan, along with directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, just hoped that it would all work out if they simply tossed some talent into the mix. Unfortunately for them, this isn’t such an easy fix. The foundation is incredibly flawed, which is something that no amount of talent can make up for. But perhaps the best piece of advice I can offer to them is the most simple of all: Be more original. That way, one day, they may come up with something a little more memorable, instead of a project that gets drowned in its countless cousins.
The film comes to Blu-ray in a 1.78:1 1080p High Definition transfer of excellent quality. The picture remains sharp and clear at all times with no noticeable blurriness. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is also of great quality, though it is yet another release that is a little on the soft side. With proper adjustments, the audio is perfectly clear and lucid with all layers mixed accordingly.
Gag Reel: Approximately two minutes worth of outtakes that are not particularly funny, making them a waste of time.
Making Most Likely Featurette: An eight-minute behind the scenes look at the making of the film, featuring interviews with cast and crew. It’s semi-interesting, but it doesn’t really go into any great detail. It’s not particularly worth watching, but given that it’s the featurette with the most to learn about the film, you may want to check it out.
Life in the Human Shell Featurette: A completely pointless addition that has someone wandering around New York in Ralph’s metal Mollusk shell. As to why this was included instead of more behind the scenes material is a mystery.
Deleted Scenes: Three quick scenes totaling about three minutes that show more sad attempts to get a little more humor into the story. Another extra that’s just not worth the time, even if it is just a few minutes.
Sadly there really isn’t much of anything to recommend about this release given that the film is a dud and the fact that the special features don’t include anything truly worth sitting through. I may have had only the one question on my mind during the film, but after, I can only ask why anyone would make a film so generic that it’s bound to be instantly forgotten. Morgan couldn’t have thought that her semi-autobiographical account was that unique. Apparently not as she does try to dress it up a bit, but the result was her making an even bigger mess of clichés and stale material. Given that she’s still early in her writing career, it’s best that she learn now rather than later that these are not the proper building blocks for creating a fully-formed narrative that will actually last in the minds of the audience.
Available on Blu-ray and DVD starting tomorrow.
Recent Blu-ray/DVD releases: The Way, Way Back, Only God Forgives, Drug War, A Hijacking, American Horror Story: Asylum, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Curse of Chucky, Fantastic Voyage, The Croods, This is the End, Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition
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This review is based on a copy of the Blu-ray received for reviewing purposes.