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Review: Wiig can't carry 'Girl Most Likely'

Kristen Wiig, left, and Annette Bening
Kristen Wiig, left, and Annette Bening

Girl Most Likely is a movie about a woman who doesn’t know who she is. Not in the amnesiac sense, although that might have some thrust with Kristen Wiig. It is also, unfortunately, a movie that doesn’t know what it is.  

Imogene (Wiig) has reached the proverbial fork in the road. Her man dumped her, she lost her job, and worst of all, at 35, she never became the writer everyone thought she’d be. In a desperate attempt to get her ex-boyfriend back, Imogene stages an elaborate suicide scene — note, sleeping pills, and so on. She took one pill for effect and when another friend arrives instead to revive her, Imogene is rushed to the hospital.

Considered a potential danger to herself, doctors put her under the care of her mother (Annette Bening), who is unfit — comedically speaking — to be anyone’s mother. This is where the cast of irregulars appears: Her brother (Christopher Fitzgerald) might be a high-functioning autistic, although it’s never addressed, and he definitely has a mollusk obsession. Her mother’s boyfriend (Matt Dillon) claims to be a CIA agent. And a samurai. And he goes by the name of George Bousche. The cherry on top of this dream-life earthquake for Imogene is that she’s back home in Ocean City, New Jersey, as far removed in her mind from New York as she can be.

Some of this is funny, more of it is meant to be. At least for a time. When Imogene goes searching for a long-lost connection, the tone of the film shifts perceptibly, and it’s more serious and heartfelt. Short story: It doesn’t play well, and it leaves a messy ending.

Wiig is truly a talent, but even the best need to know their limits. She’s past hers here in a film that needs her to carry it because it’s simply not good enough otherwise. The trouble is, in a movie that doesn’t know what it is, finding Point B is nearly impossible.

Girl Most Likely, Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, PG-13, 103 mins.