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He Said, She Said Review Site

Laggies

What She said:

He

Talk about an unorthodox rom-com, Laggies, a 2014 offering starring Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Sam Rockwell, is strange to say the least. With characters who are both odd and ridiculously easy going, the movie is entirely implausible. But if you’re able to set aside any predisposed notions regarding the logical, and take the film at its face value, then the movie kind of works in a “girls are going to like it” kind of way.

Here’s your basic plot. Megan (Knightley) is a 20-something who also has very little direction in her life. While friends are celebrating career success, weddings, and pregnancies, she’s still trying to figure out what exactly she wants to do with herself. She received a graduate degree in Family Sciences (or something of that nature), but has done nothing really beyond that. As our story begins, she’s living with her boyfriend since high school and doing slacker work literally twirling a sign for her dad’s accounting business. Her dad is an enabler, and likes having her at his house vegging out on the couch all day, but everyone else around Megan wants her to get motivated and move forward with her life. This includes her friends—from whom she’s grown remarkably distant—her boyfriend, and her mother.

Laggies

At her friend Allison’s wedding, things come to a head for Megan, when her boyfriend proposes and she catches her father cheating on her mother. In that moment, her life feels like it’s shattering around her. In an effort to disappear from the situation, Megan flees. Later, she encounters a group of high school kids hanging out next to a liquor store. One of the kids, a teenager named Annika (Moretz), approaches Megan and asks if she can buy booze for them. Megan, still reeling from the wedding, has flashbacks of her own memorable teenage years, and decides to help out the youths. In exchange for her help, Annika and group ask Megan if she wants to hang out with them and share in the fun. Megan, against her better instincts agrees.

Laggies

She treasures every moment of the experience—riding skateboards, sitting around the park, and essentially doing nothing but chatting, goofing off, crushing on boys, and getting tipsy. When she returns home that night, her boyfriend brings the marriage proposal back up, and Megan again begins to panic. She agrees to a swift engagement and to elope to Vegas, but says that she must attend a week-long career seminar first. Of course, there is no real seminar, but Megan knows that her boyfriend will be supportive of the endeavor, and the break will give her a chance to sort out her emotions and clear her mind.

Megan has no idea what to do and how to disappear for a week, but luck turns in her favor when Annika calls her in a panic and asks if she can come to school and pretend to be her mother for a meeting with the guidance counselor. Megan agrees to the arrangement and afterwards asks Annika if she can spend the night at her house. Annika is game for anything, and so she sneaks Megan into her home while her single-father Craig (Sam Rockwell) isn’t looking. Of course, Craig is no dummy, and he busts the duo before the night is out. Annika tells Craig that Megan is her age, but he doesn’t fall for it. He begins interrogating Megan and wants to know why a grown woman is hanging out with a teenager. Megan lies, saying that there is a gap between the lease on her new apartment, and she was looking for a place to stay and Annika said she’d help out.

Craig, being an oddly trusting fella, tells Megan she can stay the night. Of course, one night begins to turn into longer as Megan bonds more closely with Annika and Craig grows more trusting of the woman. It’s clear that he begins to have feelings for her, and a night of drinking leads to affirmation of their closeness. As if things are not complicated enough, Megan is eventually exposed when one of her friends sees her at a fast food joint and realizes that she has not been out of town. Annika also finds Megan’s engagement ring and realizes that she has been lying. Megan must go back to her real life, and she does momentarily, but realizes that her heart is not in it. She ends up breaking things off with her fiancé and patching up her relationship with her father. Megan decides that her real future is actually with Craig, and goes to him to make amends.

Laggies

So, I pretty much just told you the entire movie. It’s predictable anyway, so I don’t really think I’m doing you much of a disservice. As you can tell from the description, the plausibility of the plot on this one is nil. Craig’s character is the one who is really to blame for this. The guy is both a devoted father who cares about high daughter, and the world’s most trusting and gullible guy. In classic rom-com fashion, he also has the ability to fall head over heels in love with a woman at least a decade younger than him over the course of just a few days. Yeah, it’s entirely unrealistic. But that also doesn’t make it all bad. There is still some sweetness to the romance between Megan and Craig, however odd it is.

This movie is filled with people doing marginally bad things who somehow manage to remain somewhat likable. They’re not entitled or pretentious, just misguided. I simultaneously wish I knew more people like this, and also feel like I’d want to avoid them like the plague. They seem characteristically Californian, just always ready to go with the flow.

Acting-wise, everyone is decent in this film. Knightley does her best to mask her British accent, and she’s good enough at it (there were a few slip-ups). Moretz embodies the emotionally unstable and troublemaking teenager role well. I think she pretty much has that down to a science at this point. And Rockwell is likeable, yet extremely vulnerable as Craig. He has a peculiar vibe—both a cool dad and also someone who is strikingly desperate for affection at the same time. I almost get the sense that he’d be willing to date any of-age woman who walked through his front door. He’s maybe a borderline creeper, but I just decided to roll with it.

The film is good enough to satisfy your rom-com cravings, and I think will resonate pretty well with female viewers.

Thumbs mostly up.