Saturday, November 28, 2015

'Girl Most Likely' lacks spark

Kristen Wiig and Darren Criss in "Girl Most Likely" Wiig stars as Imogene, a young woman who, after some early success, leaves home for the big city but falls short of expectations and returns home.
Kristen Wiig and Darren Criss in "Girl Most Likely" Wiig stars as Imogene, a young woman who, after some early success, leaves home for the big city but falls short of expectations and returns home.
About the movie
Girl Most Likely
MPAA rating:
for sexual content and language
Running time:
Release date:
June Diane Raphael; Nathan Corddry; Annette Bening; Kristen Wiig; Natasha Lyonne; Mickey Sumner; Matt Dillon; Michelle Hurd; Darren Criss
Directed by:
Robert Pulcini; Shari Springer Berman

How many movies have we seen over the last year where the plucky heroine, in quick, brutal strokes, loses her boyfriend and loses her job?

Such is the case for Kristen Wiig's sadsack Imogene Duncan in the opening minutes of the clumsy comedy Girl Most Likely. Her beau dumps her on the cab ride back from a fancy party, and then her boss sends her packing after Imogene inserts a critical voice into her blurbs about Broadway shows. Never mind that she was a promising young playwright with a prestigious award on her resumé. Now she's broke and brokenhearted. Nothing left to do but move back in with Mom.

Which is how Imogene finds herself at the Jersey Shore, where Zelda (Annette Bening) has rented out Imogene's old room to a guy in a Backstreet Boys tribute band (Darren Criss, from Glee). On a first-name basis with the security guards at the Atlantic City casinos, Zelda has also opened her house - and her bed - to George Bousche (Matt Dillon), who skulks around mysteriously and talks about his days as an international spy. The other resident of the Duncan abode is Imogene's socially challenged inventor brother, Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald), a schlumpy ball of self-doubt. There may as well be a sign in the driveway: Kooky Characters Live Here.

Girl Most Likely's screenplay is by Michelle Morgan, an actress and writer who gets to realize a revenge fantasy of sorts: Rejected by her snooty New York arts and society friends, Imogene discovers what's really important about life (yes, there's a romance with the Backstreet Boys dude) and then returns to show her pretentious clique a thing or two.

But on the way, there's Imogene's quest for a missing family member - a scenario that proves both awkward and awkwardly unfunny. Bob Balaban brings his trademark perturbation to bear in the role of the errant relation.

Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, who fared far better with American Splendor and its cast of neurotic misfits, Girl Most Likely is flat and mostly unsurprising. Wiig's wardrobe - denim vests, ratty Converse high-tops - is supposed to be amusingly anachronistic, but instead it's just kind of unflattering. Resolutely, the Bridesmaids star plugs on, flashing that look of crinkled concern, her trademark deadpan drollery.

It works here and there. And then it doesn't.


Girl Most Likely ** (Out of four stars)

Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. With Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Darren Criss, Christopher Fitzgerald, and Matt Dillon. Distributed by Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions.

Running time: 1 hour, 43 mins.

Parent's guide: PG-13 (sex, profanity, adult themes)

Playing at: area theaters

Contact Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or, or follow on Twitter @Steven_Rea. Read his blog, "On Movies Online," at


Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter