‘Ingrid Goes West’ Review Roundup: Critics Love Quirky Comedy That Warns Of Social Media Fixations
Ingrid Goes West stars Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Rec) as Ingrid Thorburn, a social media stalker who conflates “likes” to meaningful relationships. Taylor Stone (Elizabeth Olsen) is a social media star, who becomes Ingrid’s latest obsession. She moves to LA and somehow inserts herself into Taylor’s life, before Taylor realizes how crazy Ingrid really is.
The quirky indie comedy has received glowing marks, and an 88% on Rottentomatoes. The Matt Spicer directed film looks at the false intimacy of social media today, and creates a funny cautionary tale.
INGRID GOES WEST REVIEW ROUNDUP
“Ingrid Goes West is a sharp, insightful modern day stalker fantasy, ‘Single White Female’ through a Valencia Instagram filter. In his first full-length feature, director and co-writer Matt Spicer examines the false intimacy of social media and the phoniness (and loneliness) of living your life through an iPhone app. It’s a cautionary tale, but it’s also a comedic satire, and it doesn’t allow itself to get overly preachy.”
–Adam Graham, The Detroit News
“Now 33, Plaza can still get away with playing an ingenue (that’s what Ingrid is, a toxic ingenue). She can do comedy. She can do drama. She’s best of all, as here, at combining both. Ingrid Goes West doesn’t offer Plaza a breakout role so much as a dig-deeper role… Ingrid is intensely unlikable — and opaque. That’s what’s most frightening about her. Plaza, one of the film’s producers, doesn’t shrink from that. She does nothing to disguise the extent to which Ingrid can be highly unattractive — in appearance as well as manner. This is anything but a vanity performance. Yet Plaza doesn’t overdo it either. Caricature can be an actorly escape hatch, a way of saying, “I really don’t mean it.” Plaza does. So does Olsen, and Taylor ends up seeming even creepier than Ingrid. You don’t necessarily buy that Taylor would let someone like Ingrid into her life. This is a fundamental problem, except that Plaza and Olsen are so good together — dark and light, needy and heedless, out and in — that by the time you do notice, that’s the whole point.”
–Mark Feeney, The Boston Globe
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“Director Matt Spicer, who wrote the Sundance award-winning screenplay with David Branson Smith, is dealing with some fairly obvious themes; i.e. everything on social media isn’t what it seems; living your life online isn’t necessarily a good idea. But he finds much wit in the characters, and in the wicked fun the actors are having… You won’t remember Ingrid Goes West for long after it’s over, but as summer diversions go, you could do much worse.”
–Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times
“Ingrid Goes West comes close to saying something sharp about how social media promotes envy and the illusion of connectivity, but when a comedy chooses such an obvious target, it should have the courtesy to aim from an oblique angle… Ms. Plaza is a whiz with timing and does a deft job of shifting viewers’ sympathy; her character can be loathsome or pathetic depending on the scene. O’Shea Jackson Jr., as her Batman-obsessed landlord, is every bit as funny and nearly walks away with the movie. Still, Mr. Spicer cops out by going with the obvious ending. Admittedly, he has tough competition. Real life already gave social media ‘influencers’ a far more cutting sendup. It was called Fyre Fest.”
–Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times
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