Ingrid Goes West: Film Review

I was gutted that I missed Ingrid Goes West at the London Film Festival because everyone was raving about it. Because I had wanted to see it for a really long time, I set my expectations too high and I came away a little disappointed.

Aubrey Plaza is Ingrid, a mentally unstable person who develops unhealthy attachments to people she finds on Instagram. She is never in the present, she is always with her face in her phone, refreshing Instagram for new likes, comments or photos. She comes across Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), an influencer in LA, so Ingrid decides to relocate there and become best friends with Taylor.

From the trailer, I expected this to be a teen comedy with a dark edge, but this is actually really dark and not a comedy in the hilarious, laugh-out-loud sense. It is funny in its observational humour and scathing cynicism and satire about social media, but it wasn’t quite what I expected. I would have preferred it to be have been a light-hearted comedy with a bite like Mean Girls, with Plaza not being mentally ill, or for it to go EVEN darker and have a shocking, bleak ending.

Plaza is perfectly cast as Ingrid, someone you feel really sad for because her behaviour is obsessive, psychotic and pathetic, but she can’t help it. Olsen shows a different side to her as Taylor, a fickle hipster who does everything so it looks cool online. She is just as sad as Ingrid because she is so fake and pretends everything is awesome when it’s not.

They have a great supporting cast – O’Shea Jackson, Jr. as Dan, Ingrid’s neighbour and love interest, Wyatt Russell as Taylor’s husband Ezra, who is sick of the bullshit, Billy Magnussen as Taylor’s drug addict brother Nicky, who is a total douche, and Pom Klementieff as another influencer Harley Chung.

I love Single White Female and it is basically a modern take on that. The writing is very smart, I loved what it was saying about social media, but I just really didn’t like that Ingrid was mentally unstable from the beginning. I would have preferred her obsessive behaviour to take a darker turn during the film. The performances are excellent, it is timely and relevant, and the locations are beautiful; it just didn’t quite deliver on a great premise.

In cinemas Friday 17th November

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