Directed By: Lynn Shelton

Starring: Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Kaitlyn Dever, Jeff Garlin, Ellie Kemper, Mark Webber, and Daniel Zovatto

It's Halloween weekend, and there doesn't seem to be a film out that's I would venture to call a fright fest.  Halloween only falls on a Friday every five or six years.  With this in mind, we should have more than a 10th anniversary re-release of Saw.  There should be some new sicko or psycho terrorizing theaters.  As it stands, we've got a thriller about the dark side of the media on the mainstream front.  We're not doing much better on the indie front either.  This weekend, we've got a romantic comedy featuring a twentysomething looking to take an extended break from adulthood.  Like Nightcrawler, Laggies doesn't exactly scream Halloween.  Still, it's a fun romp.

At 28 years of age, Megan (Keira Knightley) is not quite sure what she wants to do with her life.  Holding signs on the streets for her father Ed's (Jeff Garlin) tax business, it's safe to say she hasn't accomplished much in spite of her academic pedigree.  As it stands, however, it appears her life is already planned out.  Still close with her friends Allison (Ellie Kemper), Savannah (Sara Coates), and Danielle (Kirsten deLohr Helland) from high school, she feels like she's living in the past and is doomed to do so for the rest of her days.  It certainly doesn't help that she's been with her boyfriend Anthony (Mark Webber) for more than a decade.  Suffocating from a life of routine in which she isn't interested, Megan needs a break.

At Allison's wedding, Megan reluctantly receives an engagement ring from Anthony and catches her father cheating on her mother.  It's needless to say that she bails.  While stopping at the store, underage teens Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Misty (Kaitlyn Dever) approach Megan and ask her to buy some booze for them and their friends.  What starts out as a beer run ends up being a carefree night for Megan.  Afterwards, Megan decides to hit the pause button on her life and call in a favor.  She crashes in Annika's room for a week on the other side of town away from her family, away from her friends, and away from Anthony.  It's not too normal for a 28 year-old to be hanging out with a teen, however.  Annika's dad Craig (Sam Rockwell) calls Megan out on this fairly quickly.

Less about growing up and more about growing apart, Laggies tackles the interesting subject of friendship and how certain friends are only in our lives for a season.  Yet again, I have a film on my hands that resonates with me on a personal level.  With my 5-year reunion at Princeton in my rearview mirror and my 10-year high school reunion on the horizon, I certainly know what it means to grow apart from friends.  As I've reunited with old friends at various points in the last year or so, I've come to realize just how few those with whom I keep in touch really are.  As I watched Laggies, Lynn Shelton's narrative of friends growing apart as people are "shifting" and maturing truly stood out to me.  However, all of this doesn't change the fact that the film serves up some fairly predictable fare, even for a romantic comedy.

The strength of the film is a bundle of heartfelt performances.  Though she doesn't quite master her American English as Megan, Keira Knightley brings a warmth and an energy to the screen that just clicks.  Her effervescence and emotion fit just right in a film of this genre.  For his part as her romantic interest Craig, Sam Rockwell gives a quietly charismatic performance.  When not giving us the lonely single dad, he delivers quite a few amusing zingers.  Rockwell shares strong romantic chemistry with Knightley as well.  We also have Chloë Grace Moretz as Annika.  She brings a fun personality to the screen that gels well with Knightley.  There's simultaneously a toughness and fragility to her character.  Lastly, we have Kaitlyn Dever as Misty.  Clearly having fun on screen, this may just be the first time I've seen the young actress portray a character who's not an offbeat loner.

Laggies is a film featuring solid performances, decent direction from Lynn Shelton, and an intriguing premise.  Though it does turn out to be fairly predictable, this indie romantic comedy gets a strong 0.06% rating.  In the spirit of Laggies, have some boxed wine with this one.