Film review: Girl Most Likely (12A)

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Feted as a promising playwright, Imogene (Kristen Wiig) squandered the money attached to a prestigious annual award and now wrings out the last drops of her creative juices to pen five-line blurbs for forthcoming Broadway shows.

Her relationship with workaholic boyfriend Peter (Brian Petsos) is stagnating and her coterie of well-to-do female friends - Dara (June Diane Raphael), Georgina (Michelle Morgan), Hannah (Mickey Sumner) and Sloane (Elizabeth Inghram) - repeatedly remind Imogene of her humble origins. In short, Imogene is a crisis waiting to happen.

Girl Most Likely

Girl Most Likely

And happen it does when she loses Peter and her job in quick succession, followed by a faked suicide attempt, which reunites Imogene with her errant, gambling addicted mother Zelda (Annette Bening) at her hospital bedside.

Returning to her ramshackle childhood home, Imogene finds handsome aspiring actor Lee (Darren Criss) is now renting her bedroom and her eccentric brother Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald) is still fixated on crustaceans and shelled reptiles.

Adding to Imogene’s woes, her mother has a new boyfriend called The Bousche (Matt Dillon), who claims to have a shadowy secret past within the CIA.

Determined to return to her social circle in Manhattan, Imogene slowly puts her life back in order while dealing with the deep wounds of losing her father.

Scripted by Michelle Morgan, Girl Most Likely is a coming of middle-age comedy that trades heavily in cliches and familiarity.

Wiig, who was Oscar nominated for her script for Bridesmaids, is a gifted actress and can make the dullest lines seems amusing.

Here, she has meagre raw materials to work with, alternating between ungrateful and whiny until her heroine’s obligatory catharsis and redemption in the eyes of the people she truly loves.

Bening essays an appealing ditzy mom, who has coped as best she can raising two kids on her own, while Fitzgerald brings innate likeability to his painfully shy sibling, whose wacky design for a human-sized tortoiseshell sanctuary is unexpectedly useful in a dire emergency.

Sadly the romantic subplot between Wiig and Criss simmers but never truly comes to the boil and the film feels like a disappointment despite its fleeting charm and top calibre on-screen talent.