Girl Most Likely Blu-ray Review
Some actors become so synonymous with writing and/or directing their own projects that a common side effect is they are held responsible for the success and blame of everything in which they are featured. Comedic actor Kristen Wiig is in the beginning stages of this diagnosis after the immense success of her Academy Award nominated screenplay for BRIDESMAIDS. That and the fact most cast members of Saturday Night Live are known for writing the lion’s share of their own material, has saddled her with an ironic stigma of always having a hand in the writing process. In reality, Wiig has acted in over 25 films but has only worked as a writer on one. In GIRL MOST LIKELY, there is a semblance of mood that Wiig may have took part in constructing the wireframe of the film, but it becomes very evident, very quickly, that if she had any contribution at all to this script it was only of the improv variety.
As a young adult, Imogene Duncan (Kristen Wiig, BRIDESMAIDS) showed much promise as a playwright. She made the right connections; she traveled in the right circles, but was unable to output writing that lived up to her potential. Imogene spent most of her time trying to keep up appearances and reaffirm that she belonged amongst her peers, but after her boyfriend leaves her and she botches an attempt to win his sympathy through a faux suicide, she ends up in the custody of her estranged, gambling-addict mother Zelda (Annette Bening, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT). Dealing with her “fall” from New York City back to her hometown of Ocean City, New Jersey, she reconnects with her agoraphobic brother Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald, “Wicked”-musical), tolerates her mom’s boyfriend who claims to be in the CIA (Matt Dillon, THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY) and finds her old room is being rented out by an Atlantic City performer named Lee (Darren Criss, GLEE). While living at home Imogene is made aware of a very enlightening secret concerning her deceased father and envisions a synopsis that can help her get back to New York.
The first 20 minutes are so ill-conceived and valueless to the plot that it puts the film in a hole which it only starts to recoup from in the final 20 minutes. The character of Imogene is introduced by means of a flashback to when she was a precocious child who wanted to amend the line “There’s no place like home,” in a school play of “The Wizard of Oz.” This fails to set the stage properly for the character and even ignores the title of the film by omitting the preamble needed to showcase Imogene’s accolades in her youth and create an understanding of the height from which the character falls. Instead the audience simply meets up with a sad woman who used to be a bratty kid, wondering why they should feel any sympathy or sense of encouragement for her until the explanation is crowbarred into a conversation half way through the film. Furthermore, the humor tips its toes into some “dark” waters a few times but never completely cannonballs into the pool, instead settling for your standard and extremely predictable Hollywood template ending.
Saving GIRL MOST LIKELY from a stagnate script is a cast that turned in first-rate performances across the board. Kristen Wiig is her usual talented self as Imogene and brings her trademark awkward-infused, self-deprecating style of comedy to an otherwise poorly written character, but there is only so much even she could do with the limited range of the script. Wiig also connects brilliantly with Annette Bening who obviously put in some quality time studying the inhabitants of the city in order to portray a character like Zelda with such precision. Other supporting characters include Bob Balaban (MOONRISE KINGDOM) in his usual “Wes Anderson” mode as Imogene’s father Maxwell, Darren Criss in a very charismatic performance as the typical obvious-to-everyone-but-the-main-character love interest and Matt Dillon who continues to be an underrated comedic actor in the hilarious role of George Bousche, the supposed CIA agent that’s living with Imogene’s mother and can’t tell anyone his real name.
However even amongst a plethora of strong performances, Christopher Fitzgerald is still worth a spotlight mention. Mostly known for his Broadway talents, Fitzgerald is someone who could rise up the Hollywood ranks rather quickly if he ever decided to make films full time. As Imogene’s brother Ralph, Fitzgerald was able to fuse the socially regressed angst and humor of Zach Galifianakis with the likability and sympathy of Jonah Hill. Fitzgerald’s acute acting prowess is clear, but he’s also able to engulf himself in the character to the level where you may start to ponder if he’s even acting at all.
GIRL MOST LIKELY is not going end up padding Wiig’s career down the line, nor is it going to even be a film that people question, “Hey why didn’t I ever hear of this being in theaters?” What it does achieve is an exemplification of how actors can be much more than animated vessels that simply bring life to words on a page, and in a project such as this they can actually skew a subpar screenplay into a tolerable, if not enjoyable film.
GIRL MOST LIKELY BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: 1080p/AVC MPEG-4, 1.78:1 Widescreen: GIRLS MOST LIKELY features the sharpness of an HD production, but the contrast is noticeably muted. This could have been a creative decision to enhance the depths of the main character’s depression, but the story was not a dark enough comedy to warrant such a choice in the first place. The colors needed more pop and they missed an opportunity to showcase some really nice landscapes on the Jersey Shore.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1: The audio track in the film fares a little better than the video. The sounds on the Jersey boardwalk are very captivating and encompassing. Dialogue is extremely crisp and easy to hear over sound effects and music, which are also very rich and add much needed production value to an otherwise dreary and monotonous set.
Making Most Likely (9 min): Your standard, studio approved puff-piece featuring interview snippets with each of the cast members discussing what drives their characters. It’s less than 10 minutes so if you honestly enjoyed the film it’s worth the watch.
Life in the Human Shell (3min): This is a poorly produced featurette on the invention created by Ralph in the film. Someone who is definitely not Christopher Fitzgerald puts on the “Human Shell” and walks around town while someone films from behind and Fitzgerald’s lines are voiced over. Even at 3 minutes long it’s a complete waste of time.
Gag Reel: A short reel of goofs during shooting that are no more humorous than a few flubbed lines.
Deleted Scenes: A couple of throw-away scenes that do not offer further insight on any of the characters.