I had such high hopes for this movie and maybe that was my downfall. You can seldom ever go wrong with Sam Rockwell and Chloe Grace Moretz and, while I’ve never been too impressed by Keira Knightly, she was pretty spectacular in this movie. But beyond that, I cannot, in good conscience, further praise this movie.
Laggies is a slice out of the life of woman-child Megan (Knightly) who is in her late 20s and still floundering around searching for her niche in life while her friends all seem to flawlessly transition into conventional adulthood. When Megan discovers that her beloved father is cheating on his wife minutes after her long-time boyfriend pops the question, Megan flees and has a fortuitous encounter with the teenage Annika (Moretz). This chance meeting ignites a friendship between the two girls and leads to Megan meeting and (inevitably) developing feelings for Annika’s single father, Craig (Rockwell).
My life at the moment is very much like Megan’s so when I went into this movie I expected to get some hints about how to deal with our similar problems. I was highly disappointed not only because Megan doesn’t really deal with her problems, but also because the idea of quarter-life crises are so common and yet this movie makes them totally unrelatable. Maybe it’s because it’s not so much a crisis Megan is suffering but just the company of unkind people who insist on imposing their own ideas of adulthood on to her. If that was the basis of the movie, it would have been great, but it wasn’t.
There are so many things happening in this movie that it’s almost hard to keep track and none of them seem to be resolved: Megan’s parents disagree on how to deal with their daughter’s flighty lifestyle, but there’s no resolution there; Megan misses the birth of her godchild, but we have no idea what happens with that; Annika suddenly decides to go see her estranged mother and then straight after ceases to mention her ever again. All these problems (and a few more) are introduced and seemingly left unattended as the focus changes from the supposed shamble that is Megan’s life to her budding love affair with Craig.
From the adverts and the synopsis, this movie comes off as a quirky indie flick that is smart, clever and hilarious. It’s pretty funny and Craig is clever and smart, but it’s almost as if halfway through, the film got scared of being an outsider and decided to twist to fit the rom-com mold. But it doesn’t even do that well because it takes advantage of the fact that the audience expects the romance and makes it look rushed. In fact, Annika’s high school romance is far more believable than that of Megan and Craig or even that of Megan and her ex.
Far be it for me to tell you what you should and shouldn’t spend your hard-earned cash on, but if given the choice knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t give this movie a try, at least not in theatres. Watch it on cable if you really want, but be forewarned that outside of amazing characters you’ll want to befriend, you’ll not get much from this movie.