Laggies – Opening Night at the Mill Valley Film Festival

laggies

You can’t keep putting off something you want for some imaginary future. You just got to suck it up and go with your gut.

Words to live by? Maybe not for everyone, but you’ll hear these words spoken by Keira Knightley as Megan in the new film from Lynn Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister ) called Laggies. I caught this film on Opening Night of the Mill Valley Film Festival at the Rafael 1 in San Rafael, CA.

Shelton had previously screened this film at Sundance and more recently at film festivals in San Diego and Aspen before tonight.

The cast is headed up by Keira Knightley who has been working regularly and steadily. This is the 3rd film I’ve seen her in THIS year (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Begin Again being the first two. This is the third, and The Imitation Game, which will screen here at the MVFF, in a few days will be the 4th.

Also on board are Chloë Grace Moretz who played in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo back in 2011, and is in your local theaters these days with Denzel Washington in The Equalizer.

Sam Rockwell and Jeff Garlin (from Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm) are the main guys in the film, and they’ve been give billing AFTER Keira and Chloë

So what’s it about? Shelton is directing a script by the debutante screenwriter Andrea Seigel. It is set in and around Seattle, WA, which looks great. Megan is drifting. She’s not taking advantage of her considerable education, which rankles her mother. Garlin is the dad, and his daughter can do no wrong in his eyes.

What’s missing? Well Megan isn’t doing anything right either. She lives with a guy who is marriage minded and he’s doing his supportive best to get Megan to shed her inactivity and immaturity as well as her inability to find anything that self-motivates her.

It’s maddening. Megan blows off job interviews – she says she wasn’t going to get the job anyway – so what’s the point. She tells her boy friend she’s enrolling in a Personal Development Seminar, and then after he pops the question – Megan is faced with having another life changing event before her.

I thought Knightley was fabulous in her portrayal.

You’d never guess that this is an actress born and raised in a South London home in the UK. Megan is smart and bright yet easily deceived and basically indifferent to criticism.

Moretz, as Annika, fits in when she meets Megan and asks her to buy some booze for her and her friends. Megan is not jumping out of her shoes to do this, but she does it anyway.

Later Megan and Annika become BFF’s. Enter Sam Rockwell as Annika’s Dad Craig. He’s a divorce lawyer. He’s described as a guy who despite his own life being a mess, he works hard, and gets paid to destroy other families.

When Megan asks him –

What do you call 5000 lawyers sinking to the bottom of the sea?

He finishes the joke for her =

A good start.

I liked Rockwell’s performance too. He’s good at the sarcasm, throws us some outstanding looks of shock, befuddlement, and WTF’s when he finds out that Megan and Annika are palling around together.

He’ll ask Megan –

Hey, did you hear the one about the grown woman who started hanging out with a bunch of pubescent kids?

Megan: No, what?

Craig: No, I never heard of it either before now.

I thought the character of Annika was the weak point of the film, Moretz did a good job with what she had to work with, but there wasn’t that much for her to do.

Seigel’s script had plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and the audience bought into the jokes, and the off-beat premise. But we were not so enamored by the script’s beginning and ends.

Shelton’s film looks good, and had some ace performances by Knightley and Rockwell. Garlin played the same kind of guy that he did with Larry David, and while perfectly cast, you won’t come out raving about his character,

I’m calling it funny, and unusual and yet – ever so predictable. If you know someone who twirls signs (Need Tax Advice?) you probably already know that this is a person who ought to be doing something else.

That’s Megan in Laggies!

lag00001

What does the tortoise have to do with it? See Laggies for the answer. But if you’re thinking about a character that’s seemingly in no rush to get anywhere, you might be on to something.

Wondering if the tortoise's agent got him more than scale for this  ground level walk-on?

Wondering if the tortoise’s agent got her more than scale for this ground level extended walk-on?

Three point five out of five, and recommended. Check out the trailer: link is below –

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One thought on “Laggies – Opening Night at the Mill Valley Film Festival

  1. I truly wish I could’ve made the festival. The slate of movies looks fantastic. Keira has been working quite steadily this year as you pointed out. Begin Again was very good. I expected it to be a bigger hit. Keira Knightley and Sam Rockwell in the same cast looks like another no brainier. The Imitation Game with Keira looks promising as well. There’s so much coming out in the upcoming weeks. Should be a great Fall movie season.

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