Imogene Duncan (Kristen Wiig) is a lost, manipulative woman who needs to accept that she’s past her prime. The saving grace of what comes across as an emotionally whacked and unhinged character is Wiig, who shines in the lead role despite the film’s many strange developments along the way. Imogene earns props for being one of the oddest names to emerge in a modern comedy, but that doesn’t excuse her attempts at winning back her boyfriend at the film’s start: she fakes her own suicide in hopes of him coming back, but is instead found by her best friend who calls in her death.
This leads to her being placed under psychological care in the hospital, but she’s turned over to her mother, Zelda (Annette Bening, very good here), who didn’t raise her and her brother Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald) in the most ideal way. Girl Most Likely is an oddity of sorts, because it doesn’t have an overarching theme and doesn’t seem to have a grounded plot. The movie reminds me of a story a grandfather would be telling, rambling on about a lot of weird instances at a lost time in his life, coming around to what can only be seen as a conclusion because the film ends there. Yet the movie has a charm about itself, almost a confidence in how quirky it strives to be.
Darren Criss is quite good in a supporting role as a young singer at a casino who also lives with Zelda, while Matt Dillon plays what appears to be an odd pathological liar who says he’s in the CIA, and also a samurai, and has been struck by lightning three times…and then Ralph is obsessed with mollusks and develops a “human shell” to protect against surroundings. What I admire about the film is the eccentricities that arise from these characters. They’re oddly developed, often having no arc in each scene, but they’re realized by their actions and beliefs. The movie’s confident in its uninspired spin on a basic concept, leading to an enjoyably off-kilter dramedy that doesn’t strive to be more than a decent, perplexing trip to the movies.
Grade: ★★★ (out of 5)