Film Review: INGRID GOES WEST (USA 2017) ***1/2

INGRID GOES WESTAn unhinged social media stalker moves to LA and insinuates herself into the life of an Instagram star.

Director: Matt Spicer
Writers: David Branson Smith, Matt Spicer
Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr.

Review by Gilbert Seah
 
Actress Aubrey Plaza has been busy in the production chair lately with her recent THE LITTLE HOURS, a naughty little comedy about misbehaving nuns and now with INGRID GOES WEST, again a naughty little comedy but with more drama about a misbehaving Ingrid. Plaza stars in both films, creating a niche for herself as in DIRTY GRANDPA always playing a misbehaving youth.

INGRID GOES WEST (great title, by the way), is a more ambitious project with a stronger narrative this making way for a better picture. INGRID GOES WEST is the most accomplished of all the Aubrey Plaza films so that fans of hers are aware. She play a psycho habitual stalker desperate to make friends at all costs, including causing grievous bodily harm to her targets and herself.

When the film begins, she has already stalked Charlotte who has got a restraining oder on her. Yet Ingrid (Plaza) shows up at Charlotte’s wedding and pepper sprays her during the wedding dance. Ingrid is then institutionalized. The sudden passing away of her mother leaving her a large sum of money, $60,000 in cash allows her to carry on her stalking comfortably till all hell breaks lose. The coming across of the money is an excuse for the story to have its character continue her exploits.

Plaza’s character reminds one immediately of Anna Faris, the lead in Gregg Araki’s SMILEY FACE, in which the f***ed up lead goes around the entire film causing drama and damage to herself and every person around her. In this story, Ingrid’s new target in Instagram celebrity Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen) and her artist husband (Wyatt Russell). Taylor and Ingrid initially hit it along, with Ingrid stalking her half the time photographing everything without her knowledge. Ingrid also has an admirer, her black landlord (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), who she eventually has a relationship with. His obsession with everything Batman proves a lot of laugh-out loud jokes. But things get tough with the appearance of Taylor’s obnoxious but good-looking buffed up drug taking drunken brother, Nicky (Billy Magnussen) who finds out the truth about Ingrid’s motives. He blackmails her and things get out of control.

The film rarely contains a dull moment. When things start to smoothen out, one can always count on Ingrid to f*** things up again.

The film also contains a soundtrack of popular 80’s and 90’s tunes that keep the spirit of the film going.

One of the rare achievements of the film, courtesy of both actress Plaza and writer/director Spicer is the creation of a character that is such an alpha female loser that the audience wishes the worst on her and that all her plots be foiled. Yet the character created is one to sympathized.

The film’s one flaw is the tacked on unhappy ending. The ending is predictable for a film with a story centring on social media. Apart from that, this is one totally entertaining f***ed up movie about a f***ed up person doing f***ed up things. The film debuted at Sundance 2017, where it won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for co-writers Spicer and David Branson Smith.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP4vD1tWbPU
 

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Happy Birthday: Aubrey Plaza

aubreyplaza.jpgHappy Birthday actor Aubrey Plaza

Born: June 26, 1984 in Wilmington, Delaware, USA

 

 

 

 

 

SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED
2012
dir. Colin Trevorrow
Stars:
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Stars
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MOVIE POSTERLIFE AFTER BETH
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dir. Jeff Baena
Stars:
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FUNNY PEOPLE
2009
dir. Apatow
Starring
Adam Sandler
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Leslie Mann
MOVIE POSTERABOUT ALEX
2014
dir. Jesse Zwick
Stars:
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MOVIE POSTERA GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III
2013
dir. Roman Coppola
MOVIE POSTERTHE TO DO LIST
2013
dir. Maggie Carey
Stars:
Aubrey Plaza
Johnny Simmons

 

Movie Review: DIRTY GRANDPA (2016)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

dirty_grandpa.jpgDIRTY GRANDPA (USA 2015) ***1/2
Directed by Dan Mazer

Starring: Zac Efron, Robert DeNiro, Zoey Deutch, Aubrey Plaza

Review by Gilbert Seah

Read Interview with the Art Director Jeremy Woolsey

A party scene has one character saying: “Party till you are pregnant!” Another has a prosthetic penis (an erect one at that) in the face of Zac Efron in bed after the De Niro character admits that ‘naked’ is the best way of sleeping.

If the above offends, stay away from DIRTY GRANDPA – the movie. The film is meant to offend. If the above do not do it, De Niro gets to use the ’N’ word later on in the movie. It is what is expected from the British co-writer Dam Mazer, who penned the BORAT and ALI G. characters with Sacha Baron Cohen. But DIRTY GRANDPA is extremely funny, if not a bit inconsistent in its laughs. But if a few jokes fail, one knows there are more successful ones to offend just around the corner.

But the film has a poor start with the funeral services of Dick Kelly’s (De Niro) wife of 15 years. Cousin Nick’s (Adam Pally) drunken shenanigans (speeches and small talk) are unfunny and a waste of time. His later appearance does more of the same and director Mazer would have done better to edit this character out of the film. Then there is the appearance of Dick’s grandson, Jason (Efron) and his annoying fiancé, Meredith (Julianne Hough). The Meredith character and her scenes are also unfunny at all, though her character is key to the film’s plot. John Phillip’s script could have given her a few funny moments.

The film’s simple plot allows for lots of hilarious distractions. Dick fools his grandson Jason to drive him to Florida for spring break for the sole reason that Dick and his late wife go there every year. But Dick has another agenda up his sleeve. He finally confesses to Jason once there in the film’s funniest line: “I have been faithful for 15 years, and all I want to do now is fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!” The two get a chance when they meet two hot chicks Shadia (Zoey Deutch) and Lenore (Aubrey Plaza) on the road.

The film’s funniest parts are nothing less than inspired. At a beach party, there is a ‘Flex Off”, a take off from a ‘Dance-Off’ where Dick and Jason hilariously take on a couple of hunks in the contest. Another exceptionally funny segment is when Jason gets drunk and naked, smokes crack and takes off stoned on a motorbike to a beach where he is mistaken for a child pervert.

Oscar winner De Niro has proven his comedic skills in films like MEET THE PARENTS and THE FAMILY, while Efron has proven himself just as proficient in last year’s NEIGHBOURS. Together, they form a dynamic duo in comedy.

The film’s climax does not involve anything as dramatic as the heroes saving the world but involves the heroes accomplishing an equally daunting task. Dick gets to fuck after 15 years in another very funny segment. If you are prepared not to be offended, DIRTY GRANDPA proves enough filth for the funny bone for the entire 2016.

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com