KEIRA KNIGHTLEY SAM ROCKWELL CHLOE GRACE MORETZ
Lynn Shelton needs to take some advice from Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) on how to present strong female characters. Laggies has 4-6 female characters, a variety of ages, directed and written by women, yet they are all nothing any woman, much less anyone should aspire to. The film was supposed to be about a twenty-something who never grew into maturity alongside other female friends from her childhood. It also thinks it wants to be a romantic comedy but isn’t sure how, even though Sam Rockwell gives it his best effort. With all the females in the film, the opportunities for our lead character to learn something from them (or their mistakes) or even on her own would be the obvious choice, yet Laggies has everything revolve around the two men in the story.
In high school Megan (Knightley) and her two closest girlfriends did everything together, now they have families, marriages, kids and careers while she spins the sign on the street in front of her father’s tax business. Megan constantly lies to her fiancé Anthony (Mark Webber) about attending career training retreats and “finding herself”. Megan meets 17-year-old Annika (Moretz) who offers to her room and board while she pretends to be away for a week. What Annika didn’t expect was the attraction between Megan and her single dad (Rockwell).
Megan is written as a dysfunctional, pathological liar who is immature until she sees her father cheating on her mother, then all of a sudden she speaks and acts like a mature adult. It’s a fleeting experience, but it proves that this character isn’t as believable (as she has deeper problems that this script isn’t equipped to handle). As Knightley’s third film in 2014, Laggies is by far her least impressive, she is more talented than this one sided character. Same goes for Moretz (If I Stay, KickAss) who for the first time plays a typical teenager who giggles and pines over boys. Sam Rockwell (The Way Way Back) gives the only honest performance of the film.
Screenwriter Andrea Seigel offers up fortune cookie life lessons for Megan’s character. She admits she is trying to find herself, but according to the film she is just trying to find a way from the comfort zone of her longtime boyfriend and into someone else than can take better care of her. Sam Rockwell’s character is an older lawyer. If you compare the women here to any of Holofcener’s females you will see how these all revolve around the men in their lives or their relationships to them. Laggies is a sort of anti-feminist film without meaning to be.
Final Thought – Lynn Shelton doesn’t understand women and both Knightley and Moretz deserve better than these characters.
By: Dustin Chase