Girl Most Likely

Directed By: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, Christopher Fitzgerald, and Darren Criss

It's been a little more than two years since Bridesmaids took the box office by storm.  By now, I would've imagined that Kristen Wiig would have had a long, long list of comedies to which she were attached as the lead.  As fate would have it, Wiig is finding greater success in animated films and television programming.  She's Lucy in Despicable Me 2.  She's Ruffnut in the upcoming How to Train Your Dragon 2.  She's even Lola Bunny on the new Looney Tunes Show.  What Wiig hasn't been is at the front and center of the comedic landscape over the last couple of years.  Well, it looks like she's trying to make a course correction this year.  She'll be joining the Frat Pack in Anchorman: The Legend Continues in December. Before she gets classy in San Diego with Ron Burgundy though, Wiig takes her first starring role in a comedy since Bridesmaids in this weekend’s Girl Most Likely.

Life is pretty dandy right now for Imogene Duncan (Wiig).  Her longtime boyfriend Peter (Brian Petsos) has proclaimed his love for her and said that their souls are connected.  An aspiring playwright, she recently helped her best friend Dara (June Diane Raphael) author a book.  All in all, Imogene is happy, until she's not.  When Peter breaks up with her, Imogene starts a downward spiral that begins with her getting laid off and ends with her trying to kill herself.  After a failed suicide attempt, Imogene is under psychiatric care at a local New York hospital.  Because there are more critical patients, Imogene's doctor has located her estranged mother Zelda (Annette Bening) and asked her to take care of Imogene for the next 72 hours.

Back in Ocean City, New Jersey where she grew up, Imogene has found herself in her own personal hell on earth.  Delusional and convinced that Peter loves her, Imogene is bent on finding him.  Instead, she gets to know the people in her mother’s life nowadays.  She gets a bizarre introduction to her mother's spy boyfriend George Bousche (Matt Dillon).  She gets an embarrassing introduction to Lee (Darren Criss), the young tenant to whom her mom is renting out her old room.  She even manages to get a warm welcome from her eccentric brother Ralph (Christopher Fitzgerald), who is currently building an exoskeleton for himself called the human shell.  Without even factoring her deep-seated issues with her mother into the equation, it's needless to say that Imogene is ready to go back to New York as soon as possible.

For her first leading role in a comedy since Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig tries to use exactly the same type of character that was a rousing success for her two years ago.  Unfortunately, I have to say that Girl Most Likely is pretty stale.  Just dumped by her boyfriend and fired from her job, Imogene is a woman on a downward spiral who ends up moving back in with her mom.  This sounds all too familiar, all too familiar.  I just wish Wiig had done something different, something fresh.  What she has given us is nothing short of an underwhelming melodrama devoid of anything remotely hilarious.  Wiig needs to be better than this.  At best, Girl Most Likely is a mildly humorous comedy with a sappy mother-daughter storyline, and I don't use the word sappy lightly. 

Directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini have put together a fairly dry comedy vehicle for Wiig as well as her supporting cast members.  Aside from giving Wiig a role eerily similar to what she did in Bridesmaids, they waste the rest of the talent they have on hand.  Annette Bening and Matt Dillon spend the vast majority of their time in unfunny sex jokes as stereotypical New Jersey natives.  Darren Criss is a younger American model of Chris O'Dowd without the charm.  Finally, Christopher Fitzgerald spends most of his time hiding in a human shell.  Let that all simmer.  I don’t think I need to say anything else about the uninteresting characters these actors are giving us on screen.  Moreover, Springer Berman and Pulcini have all the talent they need on screen.  They just don't give them fresh, hilarious material.

On a closing note, I have to say that the Backstreet Boys seem to be everywhere lately.  After This Is the End and Despicable Me 2, Backstreet's music is back in theaters in Girl Most Likely.  Are they trying to boost sales for their album catalog?  I'm just confused about why we've been seeing them so much in this last month or so.  They certainly don't make me feel any better about the movie.  Girl Most Likely gets a 0.09% rating.  Regardless of the Backstreet Boys, you're going to need to follow Imogene's lead and get some Long Island Iced Teas.