“Laggies” are immature people who trail behind as their friends mature, get jobs, get married and have children. It’s also the name of a rom-com and family dramedy from director, Lynn Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister) and writer/novelist, Andrea Seigel. The story is implausible and forgetful but the film is redeemed by its pleasant-enough execution and the good performances that are offered up by the lead actors who are engaging, charismatic and charming.
The film stars Keira Knightley as Megan Burch, a 28-year-old who has a graduate degree but would much rather work for her father as a sign-girl and spend the rest of her free time sitting on her parents’ couch. She is a free-spirit who hangs out with the same group of friends she had in high school. This is despite the fact that they’ve all gone and got themselves good jobs, are married or engaged and in some cases are expecting kids.
Burch’s life is thrown into a head spin after she sees her father (Jeff Garlin) secretly with another woman at her friend’s wedding. And things fail to improve when her bland but well-meaning boyfriend (Mark Webber) decides to propose. Megan says “Yes” but she is secretly reeling. She leaves the reception in order to get some air and meets a group of teenagers who want her to buy alcohol (they are led by the very capable, Chloë Grace Moretz as Annika).
Burch decides she’d rather spend her time with these young, new-found friends (despite a very obvious age gap). She crashes on Annika’s couch for a week and lies to her other friends and family about going to a self-development seminar. The story is completely absurd (one scene even involves Burch playing Annika’s Mum for a meeting at school, despite the two looking nothing alike and neither being the right age). The whole thing is really just an off-kilter and eccentric vehicle to enable a romance to blossom between Burch and Annika’s handsome single father, who is played by Sam Rockwell.
Laggies is a low-key comedy that is far from perfect, as it often feels quite contrived and silly. But it does have some good moments and these generally outweigh the bad. This film shows that you can defy convention and make some bad choices but still remain an engaging-enough character. And if nothing else, this film shows that we can all learn new things and have a pleasant journey, no matter what our age is.
Originally published on 13 April 2015 at the following website: http://iris.theaureview.com/2015/04/13/dvd-review-laggies-usa-2014/
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