To read part one of our review, click here.
This review is full of spoilers about the movie. As always, if you do not wish to be spoiled, please stop reading NOW. You have been warned. Proceed at your risk.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/65488366 w=500&h=281]
Finally, we’ve reached the part of the movie you paid the big bucks to see, Imogene is invited by Lee to his work! Lo and behold, we see Darren Criss in the cheesiest all white outfit, dancing the stereotypical boy band moves and covering BSB. The whole thing is a fangirl dream, albeit completely embarrassing. In this scene Imogene and I shared that secondhand embarrassment feeling complete with lots of giggling uncontrollably. After the performance Imogene goes to meet up with Lee backstage and he, mid-clothing change, greets us all. Plus, Lee is still wearing the guyliner so another major plus for us! Lee is hopped up on adrenaline from his performance and persuades Imogene to accompany him and his follow performers out to a club. Turns out that Imogene is quite the lightweight alcohol-wise and before long Lee is egging her on as she does a mess of body shots and other drinks that culminates in what appears to be a scene out of Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights – Imogene and Lee get all hot and heavy on the dance floor!
The pair leave the club and end up walking along the boardwalk and we end up learning quite a lot about Lee. We find out he went to Yale and was a member of the Whiffenpoufs (how ironic now right?) Lee actually performs the Whiffenpoufs’ song while standing on a bench, all dramatic and on key, despite his intoxicated state. Imogene apparently has a soft spot for the singing type with curly hair and puppy dog eyes! The night culminates with Imogene and Lee in bed together, keeping it PG-13 but well, we know what happens after the lights go out!
The morning after is really the cherry of top of the Imogene and Lee sundae. Zelda finds out that Lee ‘loosened her daughter up’ and mouths him a giant “THANK YOU!” while Imogene flees to the bathroom with a hangover to rival all hangovers. The kicker is the look on Lee’s face when Imogene re-enters the bedroom; it is enough to make any girl’s (or boy’s) heart melt and have them weak in the knees. It’s really the look/still that they should sell as a poster for the movie, begging you to come see it!
After this fabulous evening of ‘young fun,’ a wicked hangover and some inspiring moments with Ralph, Imogene seems ready to take on the Mean Girls of New York City and support her friend’s book release. This time Imogene has her brother (who sees the city as the perfect place to test out his new invention) and Lee at her side.
The party is just what you’d expect, seemingly friendly exteriors with the snarkiest of bitches underneath and their Ken Doll-esque boyfriends. Imogene’s ex-boyfriend brings this stereotypical French model as his date and the meeting of the two couples is so very awkward. Imogene and her ex go off to talk with no word to their respective dates, which makes everyone wonder, “What exactly goes on between Lee and the model?” Way to go editing team. As Imogene and Lee are getting ready to leave the party after multiple less than kind remarks on her sanity, Lee catches the French chicks bashing Imogene and burns them SO BAD in their native tongue! Thanks Darren Criss for providing what is sure to be a sound clip played on repeat for hours by many a fangirl.
With the bitchy New York girls and boys out of the picture, Imogene and Ralph are left with one final demon to confront, their father. The trio shows up at the famed writer’s townhouse and Lee, the nice guy that he is, waits in the car out front while the siblings are inside. So it turns out that Imogene and Ralph’s father is a major jackass and perhaps their mother was right for pretending that he was dead when in reality, he just walked out on his family. Imogene, Lee and Ralph head back to Jersey and I think Imogene finally has her needed epiphany about what is important in her life.
With everyone home ‘safe’ in Jersey, it doesn’t take long for the peace to be interrupted, this time in the form of a home invasion. But what does a family like Imogene’s have that anyone would want? Let’s ask The Bouche, the ‘fake’ but not actually fake at all, CIA agent. Seems like the bad guys aka the Mob have finally tracked him down and while everyone is herded into the living room, Imogene, who had been in the basement, is everyone’s only hope for safe rescue. The family is able to over power the home invader and have him all ready for the PD when they arrive to arrest him.
All these antics, coupled with Imogene’s self-discovery thanks to her insane family finally provide her the inspiration to finish her play she had been antagonizing for the year. It turns out to be an ‘out there’ artistic piece about a girl and her mother that is met with an amazing reception. The final scene in the movie shows Imogene surrounded by Zelda, Ralph, The Bouche and Lee, partying it up in a limo, leaving the play’s opening night. The Bouche also delivers his funniest line of the whole movie. Lee is trying to capture the moment on his iPhone for posterity (by the way, look close, the phone isn’t actually on even – oops!) The line from Bouche amounted to something like, “I’m sorry there can be no evidence I actually exist, please stop filming and delete the footage or I’ll hurt you.” Lee’s face at this comment is, of course, priceless! Despite the obvious cheese factor of the end of this movie, it leaves the audience feeling good and with the message that family is the most important thing. It also leaves it wide open for a sequel depending on how this movie fairs at the box office. And no, we can’t really tell if Imogene and Lee are together or not, we just know that they are a part of each other’s lives.
Now that I’ve pretty much given up a play-by-play of the entire movie and spoiled it the best I can remember, let’s talk briefly on what I thought worked and didn’t work in regards to the film.
If you read anything after the movie was shown at TIFF last year, almost everyone commented on how amazing the cast chemistry was. That made this movie above all else. The cast is full of people who know how to develop a character. Even ‘newcomer’ (to film) Darren Criss knows how to add to a character to develop it fully. Believe me, at times he isn’t given much to work with. That background acting ability comes in handy for Criss in this movie. There is this one scene in the movie that takes place in the kitchen where it is almost like Matt & Annette’s characters forget that Lee is present and the two launch in this heated discussion while Lee stands there quietly eating an apple. Speaking of Lee, another thing I liked about the move is that Lee and Imogene’s relationship didn’t become the main focus once his character is introduced. The movie is called Imogene for a reason; not Imogene Meets Lee. Now this is going to sound bad but really, Lee is kind of used as another ‘tool’ to help Imogene discover herself. He is important (sort of) but not a main focal point of the film; speaking to the “men are nice but should not define who you are” theme. Finally, all I ask is for a full recording of Darren singing “(Everybody) Backstreet’s Back.” Do you KNOW how many COPIES that would sell????
Now let’s talk about the parts of the film that I didn’t like. At the time of TIFF, Imogene had just finished being edited and did not have a distributor (one of the reasons to go to a film festival) so going in I knew things could be changed. First of all, some of the edits could use some work; this could make the film feel tighter, make the flow better, eliminate the multitude of ‘fades to black,’ and maybe even make it funnier/less awkward. I know since TIFF the film has been test screened in Los Angeles ad been in a couple of smaller film festivals so hopefully there have been some changes for the better. The biggest/WORST change they have made is probably the name of the film; which is GOD AWFUL FYI. Girl Most Likely is the MOST GENERIC, high school sounding, ploy to sell tickets if I’ve ever seen one. It captures NONE of the true character of the film. The film is described as a dark comedy as in not the ‘Jimmy Come Lightly’ fluff a title like Girl Most Likely comes off as. Girl Most Likely sounds like the bland title of a film about a blonde cheerleader. At least with a title like Imogene you gather the film is about a girl named Imogene. The other big beef I had with the movie was the dual directors. I’m all for the creative collaboration but usually the team is on the same page on the project so it appears seamless like a Cohen Brothers’ film. With Imogene, a lot of the time you could tell the scenes were shot by two different ‘eyes.’ There was a disconnect. Heck, even the cast admitted to going to the other director for approval on something if the first one turned them down. Not the best way to produce a cohesive piece.
My ranting aside, I really did enjoy Imogene on the whole, MUCH more than I enjoyed Bridesmaids. I don’t think that it will be the smash hit that that movie was but I think it will have a decent showing at the box office. I hope you enjoyed my in-depth look at the movie and if you aren’t totally burned out, here are some video goodies of Darren and the cast from TIFF for your watching pleasure.
After The Saturday Screening:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x__q68Ort_s?list=PLkzbhWnJHe9MCS0IdfSS0H1wX9aUjjB9-]
After the World Premiere:
Hope you all have enjoyed our spoiler-fest! Girl Most Likely is scheduled to hit theaters in July! Keep checking with us here at PopWrapped as we bring you the latest in Pop Culture News.