Saturday, March 7, 2015

On the count of Celine Dion…


Does anyone really want to grow up?  I mean, it’s a part of life, but does anyone really want to have to do it, especially once it’s become inevitable?  Sure, as children we can’t wait for it.  My daughter constantly tells me she can’t wait until she’s seventeen, for she just imagines life as a teenager to be perfection.  She’s seven.  But even that isn’t really grown up.  Who doesn’t want to be a careless teenager?  Once she’s seventeen, she’s going to hate it because that is when her emotions are going to kill her and heartbreak will be around the corner and my ‘house rules’ will ruin her life, but she doesn’t know any of that yet.  Let her dream.  But, once she is seventeen and she’s crying in her room to some pop ballad about lost love, is she going to think to  herself “I can’t wait until I’m thirty and working every day and struggling to pay my bills and raise a family and worry about them and life and how I’m going to make something of myself”?  Probably not, because heartbreak and emotions suck, but there is still that carelessness, that aloofness, that freedom alongside it that you only get once; and then it’s long gone.



‘Laggies’ tells the story of Megan, a young woman who just doesn’t have it together.  Everyone around her seems to, though, and this makes her standout as the black sheep.  Her friends are either having babies or getting married or having great professional success or all of the above, and so she is feeling the pressure to fall in line, even though she really doesn’t have the motivation to do so.

And then she sees someone she respects and loves acting irresponsible, and it sets her into an emotional decline she can’t take.

So, because of this, Megan decides to check out.  She meets some random teenagers, buys them booze, hangs out with them all night, forms a bond with one of them and winds up hiding out in her house with her and her single father while she lies to her fiancé, telling him she’s at a seminar.  This allows Megan to just breathe, take it all in, live in her teens for just a little while longer while she mentally accepts the next stage of her life (marriage). 

Of course, she’s going to fall in love with the single dad and realize that she doesn’t want to be part of her former circle of friends.


I have mixed feelings about ‘Laggies’.  I find that its heart is in the right place, but it just doesn’t all work.  The relationships formed and deformed here are so staunchly different that it kind of rings false in a way.  Many of Megan’s actions seem overtly foolish, and not in relatable or forgivable way; just dumb.  Her relationship with her fiancé feels severely underdeveloped to the point where it makes very little sense, and I understand growing apart and the whole ‘together out of convenience’ thing, because that happens, but this felt so off.

And still, Keira Knightley is a gem of an actress who anchors this film so solidly with her command of the role that she makes this a very likable little film.  This tries to have something to say about growing up and taking responsibility for one’s self and understanding that responsibility doesn’t exclude mistakes and yet, it really doesn’t say all that much at all.



But it’s cute, the wedding dance is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen, and Knightley is just splendid.

C.

14 comments:

  1. I thought it said the whole lot, especially Keira's lines in the teacher's office and her final speech to her fiance. Which actions seemed foolish to you? They might have been risky but what else was she supposed to do when she was backed into a corner? Her fiance was kinda a loser who never made the effort to understand her and Ellie Kemper's character was seriously the biggest cunt I've seen on screen in a long time. I really adored the film,even Moretz did well here. I think perhaps I related to the movie and Megan more because I'm exactly where she is in my life, proposals and awful friends aside.

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    1. I think the foolishness I saw was really a product of the sharp contrast between her former life and life she pursues because it just felt so different that it felt off, and because of that her actions felt strange.

      But I can totally see how my lack of relation to her situation could be at play here, because I don't know this person.

      MY LAWD, Kemper's character was like the absolute worst...but I loved whenever she was on screen because, like, she was hilarious.

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    2. Well you know me so you kinda now this person :)

      I thought her life was a mess so it's not as if she was running off from something stable - she was stuck in a dead relationship, couldn't figure out what to do for a living, in a way at least her relieving the stuff she did when she was younger was at least something she knew how to do.

      If I were Megan I'd just punch that bitch in the face. i hate judgmental people like that 'why don't you get married, have kids and have boring job, you must be crazy not to marry him!'

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    3. Yeah, judgmental people can suck it. I don't think we're ever in a position to actually judge another person because we have never experienced their life. Even if we've been through similar things, it's never the same.

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  2. I didn't like Laggies that much, but Keira Knightley manages to breathe life into the role. She was good in this one!

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    1. Keira is probably one of the absolute best actresses working today, period.

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  3. I have not heard of this film but I have met people who still wish to live like a teenager and it is not one I find attractive. These people usually don't get their sh%$# together and don't wake up. If we have then we are in the right direction, warts and all

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    1. I think this is more a depiction of someone lost in life and not necessarily someone who 'wants' to be a teenager...

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  4. This looks like something I might like, but I'll keep my expectations modest. By the way my younger daughter -- who is a couple of years older than your daughter -- can't wait to be a teenager, either. You'd think that having seen her 2 older siblings go through the throes of adolescent hormones, she'd know better. :-P

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    1. LOL, I think kids are just prone to opening their eyes and wanting to grow up.

      I wish I was seven.

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  5. This is another one that was elevated for me by the lead performance. Knightley is SO GOOD that I really liked it, even if the overall film is a little underwhelming and forgettable. I'd give it a weak B, but I totally understand the C.

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    1. Knightley really was so great here. I completely understand why you want to give her that CinSpec nomination.

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  6. I have this in my drafts, and I think I gave it a B- or a C too. I just wanted more from it. I couldn't relate to Megan fully, but Knightley was so good. The ending I had a major problem with. It was such a cliche and I felt bad for her boyfriend. Great review!

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    1. YES, that finale felt so...unrealistic in so many ways.

      Finish your review!

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