Laggies, 2014, USA
Megan (Keira Knightley) is a twenty-something woman who has never really grown up. Despite having an advanced degree, she works as a sign holder for an insurance company and spends most days on her parents’ couch. Her friends are irritated by her immaturity. When her longtime boyfriend (Mark Webber) proposes and suggests they elope, Megan makes up a retreat and ends up asking to crash at Annika’s (Chloë Grace Moretz) place. Annika is in high school and thinks Megan is cool, which allows Megan to relive her high school glory days. Annika’s father (Sam Rockwell) discovers Megan at their house, and allows her to stay, but things are complicated when they share a mutual attraction to one another.
At first, I thought that I would hate Megan as a character. Initially she’s not particularly likable, and cringe-worthy, in fact. But she grows, because of the effect her friendship with Annika has on her. The audience begins to realize that Megan has a sort of bizarre wisdom to her – a “method to her madness”, so to speak. While we still disdain her inability to grow up and enter the real world, we do have some understanding and respect for her position. Director Lynn Shelton takes a risk when she makes Megan a sympathetic character. It would have been far easier to make the audience dislike her. But I think the decision she made was the correct one. After all: there’s something slightly off putting about a woman in her late 20s hanging out and drinking with young high school students. But the film acknowledges this and moves forward with the premise.
The film is not without its issues, however. The ending is achingly cliché – I was hoping it would go in a different, more challenging direction. It doesn’t feel realistic in the slightest.
I loved Knightley as Megan. It’s something completely different from anything I’ve seen her in before, and she was very good, and funny. She also uses an American accent, which was off-putting at first, as I don’t think I’ve ever heard her without her natural accent. She does a fairly good job of it, only slipping a couple of times. Moretz feels natural as Annika. She reminds you of yourself when you were that age: she is vulnerable, and desperately wants to be liked. I very much enjoyed her chemistry with Knightley.
Laggies is now available to rent on Apple TV.