Dir: Lynn Shelton (2014)
Keira Knightly drops the square shoulders and the stiff upper lip to play a lazy and lost twenty-something on the brink of marriage in Lynn Shelton‘s Laggies. If you can get past the sigh inducing set up (a stalled young woman escapes her impending suburban life by becoming friends with a teenage girl and her single father) and put to the back of your mind the fact that you know exactly how the film will play out, you might just have some fun.
Megan (Knightly) is trapped in a time when she had no responsibilities, going to school proms and skinny dipping in an endless summer. She can no longer relate to her grown up buddies who are getting knocked up and hitched left right and centre. When her high-school boyfriend (Mark Webber) pops the question at her “best friend’s” wedding, Megan slinks off into the night, the thought of soul mates and grown up’ed-ness all taken out of her after witnessing one of her father’s back alley affairs. She meets Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz); A shrugging level headed teen and the pair spark up a rather sweet relationship.
The introduction of Annika’s father (Sam Rockwell) twists Laggies indie feel good set up and sets controls for the heart of obviousness but Knightly, Rockwell and Moretz are all charismatic enough to make Shelton’s coy script a tiny bit better than it should be. It’s great to see a more comedic role from Knightly and Rockwell plays it well as the wounded and struggling single dad but overall there isn’t anything revelatory enough in Laggies to set it ahead of the pack. Floppy, coming of age, quarter life crisis fun but little else.