Less funny than her worst SNL sketch, Girl Most Likely strands Kristen Wiig in a dreadful, disingenuous city-versus-suburbs comedy that mercilessly mocks New Jersey before turning around and celebrating its provincial trashiness over the hoity-toity snootiness of Manhattan.
Fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend, once-promising playwright Imogene (Wiig) fakes a suicide attempt that lands her in the care of her casino-loving Ocean City mom (Annette Bening).
There, stuck living with her simpleton brother (Christopher Fitzgerald), Ralph, and her mother’s new beau (Matt Dillon) -- who claims to be a CIA agent and time-travelling samurai -- Imogene rants about her hometown before learning that her long-gone dad is actually alive, thus sparking a quest for reunion.
Girl Most Likely
Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
Opens July 19
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Wiig’s riffing falls flat, and her character’s journey of self-discovery, which also involves falling for a convenient hunk (Darren Criss), is composed of desperate gags, be it a round of drunken barroom dancing or Ralph donning a homemade, bulletproof, human-size crab shell. It’s a humorless, regressive ode to staying true to your roots even if that means eschewing bigger, brighter horizons, replete with a recurring retro gag that -- alongside last month’s This Is the End -- confirms that, at least as ironic punchlines, the Backstreet Boys really are back.