Ingratiating but entirely forgettable, Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s wan comedy sends failed NYC playwright Imogene Duncan (Kristen Wiig) back to Ocean City, New Jersey, after she fakes a suicide attempt to get her recently ex-boyfriend’s attention. Her family, apparently assembled from parts scored at a jumble sale on the Sundance Institute’s campus, consists of a gambling-addict mom (Annette Bening); her reality-impaired boyfriend (Matt Dillon), who claims he was once in the CIA; and Wiig’s mentally challenged brother (Christopher Fitzgerald), who’s obsessed with constructing a mobile crab shell to protect him from the world. (Is it possible that our misbegotten heroine’s plays failed due to an abundance of heavy-handed symbolism?)
Wiig’s deadpan dislocation serves her well in the part, especially as she’s drawn out of her own shell by the attractive younger man (Darren Criss) who’s been renting her room. But she’s got nowhere to go and nothing to do; it’s telling that the movie premiered at festivals under the bland title Imogene, since flatly presenting its main character is about all it can handle. Bening flaps her arms like a baby bird and Dillon takes his There's Something About Mary sleaze down off the shelf, but their game supporting performances can’t prop up screenwriter Michelle Morgan’s prefab-to-a-fault script. The keenest irony is that Imogene’s fake suicide note is the most convincing thing she’s ever written—which makes perverse sense since Girl Most Likely is DOA.
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