I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I was driving my bony brown butt over to the theaters to catch this flick tonight. I saw one trailer which made me giggle, and I skimmed through the blurb (I don’t like to read about the plot before going to see a movie). As I parked the car I realized I was alone, which is the sucky part about being in a long distance relationship; my boo is like 300 miles away. To look less pathetic, I put on some coffee colored lip liner and spread it around my mouth with some lip balm and powdered my nose like a boss. I stood in line to get a ticket, and as I waited behind an elderly couple and an outraged thirty-something year old who realized he just paid over $15 for a movie, I thought about popcorn, and wondered should I? Will it complete my movie experience? Just then the nice man behind the glass tapped on the window to alert me that it was my turn.
I stood on the escalators with ticket in hand thinking, wow, I’m about to go see a movie about a writer. I wonder what I will learn about these characters, I wonder who they were inspired by? I literally like to know little to nothing before watching a movie so these were all valid questions. I suppose I was particularly excited because, well –one, I love me some Wiig, and two, because it was the first time I left the house today for entertainment purposes.
The lights dimmed in the theater, the Coke commercial faded out of display, and the music started. … Readers, this might be a bit of a spoiler, so if you haven’t seen the movie please refrain from reading.
I can count the amount of times I had a real gut trembling laugh during this film: four. Four times. Some of the time I was chuckling. Most of the time, I was relating to this character — and not in the extreme sense, but relating to her betrayal of self. How she departed from those she loved and in the process lost herself and her will to write. Wiig plays the “awkward woman in denial” very well, she did something similar in Bridesmaids. I watched as the veil of success lifted in a moment of weakness. I watched how this character pulled away from things that made her who she was, in order to fit into a box of what it means to be successful. I was shown how status still thrives through geography and how her Jersey background made this character an outsider to those in the “writers” circle. I saw a woman coming to terms with a failed relationship. I saw the same woman finally accept her eccentric mother. The film had a lot of heart, and I mean a lot of it. So much so that it took over the laughter dial on my experience…which is technically what I went to go see it for. There was a lot of dark humor, but mostly it was just awkward conversations.
So, I give this film three out of five alien heads. If you’re into films like Young Adult you would like this movie. It’s not as dark as Young Adult, but it’s also not as funny as other things I’ve seen Wiig do. It lives in the in between. As I stepped out of the theater I texted my boo, “Sadder than I thought it would be.” But it was still a lot of fun. It definitely made me reflect about my perception of self as a writer. It made me reflect on the choices my parents made while I was growing up. It also gave me a warm fuzzy feeling for actor Matt Dillon who was one of my favorite characters in this movie. He played the patient “stepfather” figure really well. My ultimate favorite character, however, in this film is the actor who plays Kristen Wiigs brother, Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald). I was rooting for his character since the first time he came onto the screen. He relayed a lot of information through his eyes, and I felt like he was a real person, not an actor portraying a person. Kudos Fitzgerald. If you are a writer, I say go watch this movie — but be prepared to be confronted with some ugly truths that I believe to be universal in those of us who enjoy the pen and paper.
Awkward Movie Summary: A woman who thinks she has it all watches as her NY life falls apart. The people she considered dear friends turn their back on her, and all the things she thought were certain turn out to be lies. Much to her embarrassment, she is forced to move back home with her mom and brother in New Jersey. There, she is confronted with more ugly truths about herself. Her heartbreak gives her a better sense of self, which in turn make her a better writer. With the help of her family, and a new found friendship with the man renting out her childhood bedroom, she finds herself on top of the world again. Yet this time our protagonist places value on those who are always there for her, even when she’s broken and mean. In the end, family comes before fame, and our protagonist is no longer living in denial.