If you’re looking for a smart, clever, knee-slapping comedy about a woman who loses everything and has to move back home with her crazy family, then “Girl Most Likely” is the wrong movie for you. Painfully colorless and lacking, “Girl Most Likely” contains all the humor and excitement of a root canal.
The film, directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, stars Kristen Wiig as Imogene, a washed-up playwright who lives amongst Manhattan’s elite. When her boyfriend ditches her, she stages her suicide as a cry for attention and attempts to get him back. Instead, she is released into the custody of her eccentric family in New Jersey. She must deal with her gambling-addict mother (Annette Bening), her mother’s CIA agent/samurai boyfriend “George Bousche” (Matt Dillon), her socially awkward brother (Christopher Fitzgerald) and the young lodger who is renting out her room (Darren Criss). Imogene tries to figure out how to rebuild her life and eventually discovers the truth about her family and the circle of friends and acquaintances to which she once belonged.
In this comedy—and I use the term lightly—the potential for greatness is there: There’s Bening as the wacky mother; Dillon as a totally absurd samurai-agent; and finally, comedian Wiig (“Saturday Night Live,” 2011’s “Bridesmaids”) at the forefront, taking the brunt of the comedic lifting onto her shoulders. Unfortunately, that load is clearly too much for Wiig to handle, because “Girl Most Likely” is 103 minutes of dry, witless drivel that neither charms nor excites.
With the recognizable setup of a mostly sane protagonist stuck with their insane family, “Girl Most Likely” feels more suitable for primetime TV than the big theaters—and even that’s a stretch. Wiig’s miserable and lifeless Imogene is unsympathetic and dull. Dillon’s and Bening’s quirky characters only warrant a weak smirk. Pretty-boy “Glee” star Criss serves as an unbelievable love interest for Wiig, who is over a decade his senior.
Of course, by the end, Imogene discovers that all of her Manhattan friends are horrible people and that her crazy New Jersey family will always be there for her. It’s so predictable that it will have you wondering why anyone would roll out the dough to pay for more than 30 minutes of such a film. Whether it’s because of the lack of comedy or the predictability of the plot, the film nevertheless limply drags itself through scene after scene like a sick animal in need of a mercy killing.
In the end, “Girl Most Likely” is most likely to leave you yawning in your seat and wishing that you could get that money back.