INGRID GOES WEST Review: 7 out of 10 (Like, Comment, and Share for some Darker Laughs)
INGRID GOES WEST is the a new dark comedy directed by Matt Spicer and written by Spicer and David Branson Smith. The film stars Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, Billy Magnussen, Wyatt Russell, and O'Shea Jackson Jr. Although the tone of the film might be a bit too cynical for some, the film offers some scathing commentary on the state of narcissism and social media that is rampant today. It is also something that too many of us can connect to in some way. Though it isn't quite as committed to the dark side as films like ELECTION or HEATHERS, INGRID GOES WEST still offers a substantial comedy for the Instagram generation.
Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) is a mentally unstable young woman whose obsession for social media companions have gotten her into trouble and kept her from meaningful relationships and inside mental health institutions. In an attempt to begin again, Ingrid discovers Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen) who is an Instagram-famous personality. As Ingrid fixates on Taylor's perfectly curated and chic lifestyle she abruptly moves to LA. Before long, she methodically manages to worm her way into the social media star's life. However, Ingrid's ruse is a house of cards that has been built on her own craziness, and when it begins to falter, her madness really begins to show.
This film is hard to tag as just a comedy, especially as the movie gets darker the further it goes. Having said that, it is a very funny film. Ingrid's social media obsession is all too familiar to anyone who has waited for a reply, hoped for a like, or been excited about a new follower on social media. We relate to Ingrid's struggle at some level because she is us. The film does have a lot to say here about insta-fame and the current state of celebrity crush that is proliferated by promoting perfection. Aubrey Plaza shows a new level of range here as Ingrid struggles with reality and relationships. O'Shea Jackson Jr. continues to impress here as he plays Ingrid's landlord and potential "boyfriend" at least for show, anyway. The film moves into darker territory by the third act of the film as Ingrid's choices bring some tough consequences that she chooses not to deal with in a healthy way. The film continues to use humor to offset some of these scenes, but there is a point where Ingrid's mania becomes uncomfortable to watch. Having said that, it is in these moments that the film's messaging is at its strongest.
INGRID GOES WEST is an interesting mix of comedy and commentary. It likely isn't for everyone but for those looking for a darker dose of laughs, this film is a great choice.