LAGGIES – A Review by John Strange

By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Mark Webber, Ellie Kemper, Jeff Garlin, Gretchen Mol, and Kaitlyn Dever
MPAA Rating: R (for language and some sexual material and teen partying)
Selig Rating: Matinee
Runtime: 100 Min.
Megan (Keira Knightley) has effectively stagnated since graduation from college.  She got a degree and faced a life in the real world.  Her friends all found lives and careers but something in her has frozen.  She can’t seem to take the first step into a career.  Instead she works part time at her dad’s accounting firm spinning a red arrow to attract new business.  She lives with her high school boyfriend and sneaks over to her parents house when she is supposed to job hunting.
Her parents, her boyfriend, even her girlfriends all despair that she will never break free of her fears.  Her boyfriend, Anthony (Mark Webber) finally asks her to marry him in what I would hazard is an approach that for anyone else would have guaranteed a negative response.  Instead she agrees to the proposal and makes plans to elope to Las Vegas because it is the easy way out.
Megan runs into Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her high school friends when she runs to the store during her friend’s wedding.  She buys them alcohol and then spends a few hours riding a skateboard with them.  Anything but go back to a wedding where she has growing shoved in her face.
Her fears finally get the better of her when Anthony pushes to set a date to go to Vegas.  She tells him she has booked the same retreat he had once done.  He is happy for her.  He thinks the retreat will help her get a handle on her life which will allow her to move on with her life.  With a little pushing a date is set for them to elope after the retreat.
Okay, now Megan has a problem.  Where can she hide for a week while she figures out what she is going to 7do?  Then she remembers Annika.  When approached, Annika agrees to hide her for a week.  What starts off looking like a week long slumber party becomes something very different.
Megan becomes a big sister to the kids as she uses her training to help them work out their issues.  Her week is complicated when Annika’s father, Craig (Sam Rockwell), turns out to be much more aware his daughters actions that the young lady thought.  Megan manages to convince Craig to allow her to stay for a few days by lying about her situation.
This story is complicated in ways I did not expect.  In trying to make her life less stressful she continually free-falls through problems allowing them to push her in ways she has no real control over.  She is trying to making it through life without ever having to stand on her own two feet and fight back.
Her life takes a turn when she realizes she is growing to really like Craig.  Their kiss is hot and passionate even if it is fueled by the series of shots they had after sneaking out of the house during an actual slumber party (if you can call three girls a slumber party).  Crap, now what is she going to do?  She loves Craig but she is engaged to Anthony!
This causes a rift between her and Annika when she confesses about her true situation.  Annika tells her off and Megan goes home to Anthony.  The couple pack for Las Vegas.  But Megan has to decide for once in her life what is not just right or wrong but what is it she really wants.  Does she want to accept getting married and sliding back into her old life or does she want to get off her tail and start living.
I will be honest with you, the first 65 to 75 minutes of this film are so filled with people I would absolutely hate that I almost missed the point of the film.  It is not about growing up; it is about facing your fears and being true to yourself. 
Chloë Grace Moretz and Sam Rockwell as Annika and her father is an amazing bit of writing that felt true and at the same time allowed their real characters to flavor the parts.  Keira’s turn as Megan was another tough role that the talented young lady took and made her own.  She is so good that I honestly wanted to reach into the story, grab her by the shoulders and give her a great shake!
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
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