Girl Most Likely is the type of movie that could only work as a small, independent film.
The quirky love story, the outrageous characters (each more odd than the next) and the small town charm would quickly be distorted and dumbed down in the hands of a major studio in an attempt to try and guarantee broader appeal. The quirky love story would be amped up to make it the primary focus of the film (complete with a soundtrack letting you know when to swoon and cheer); The outrageous characters would be turned up as well, likely include a wacky old lady with flatulence; and the small town would be mocked for not being just that, small and out of touch.
The movie centers on Kristen Wiig as a failed New York playwright who is dumped by her boyfriend, fired from her job and evicted from her apartment is quick succession. She is sent home with her estranged mother (played beautifully by Annette Bening) in Ocean City, NJ after a failed suicide attempt. At home, she is confronted with her mom’s younger, supposedly CIA-affiliated boyfriend (Matt Dillon) and a boarder who has taken over her childhood bedroom (played by Darren Criss who, surprisingly, is far more capable an actor than his turn on Glee would have you believe).
In the hands of co-directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (no strangers to independent film, having directed the brilliant American Splendor), Girl Most Likely takes an odd movie premise and rather than going broad and aiming for the obvious laughs, settles on telling an idiosyncratic, but much more gratifying story.
Girl Most Likely/104 mins./Lionsgate/2013
Girl Most Likely (DVD)