Blasé women who attended Andover and Spence fill a dimly lit room as Imogene Duncan (Kristen Wiig) is rushing over to meet her wishy washy boyfriend for a fundraiser. The women only talk about marriage and social events that are the very reason they exist. Through what seems like an episode of “The Twilight Zone,” Imogene’s life is turned up side down: her boyfriend dumps her, she will soon be on the streets and she is fired from her job as a mediocre columnist. Imogene neglects to realize that she is alone in New York and is ignorant to the love her family in Ocean City, NJ has for her.
Annette Bening is top notch and reminiscent of her role in “American Beauty.” As Zelda, she is eccentric but means very well as Imogene’s mother. Darren Criss is charming as Lee, the renter in Zelda’s home. He has an uncanny resemblance, with his thick eyebrows and dark hair, to Matt Dillon who plays “George Bousch,” a paranoid CIA agent and Zelda’s boyfriend. Matt does a solid job in the paranoia of his character. Kristen Wiig seems to know her lane as an actress. She delivers the “woe is me” so well. It is great to see Natasha Lyonne doing more work and she does her best as Allyson, Ralph’s admirer. Christopher Fitzgerald could be the new Zach Galifanakis. He is wonderful as Ralph, Imogene’s brother and social outcast, in the sensitive and awkward scenes he is in.
The film carries sarcasm so well. Michelle Morgan wrote a script that is parallel to life for many. The story is highly dysfunctional but realistic in this time when many adults have to move back home for various reasons. The film begins with a young Imogene, who is the lead in the school play, criticizing “The Wizard of Oz” and if Kansas is really a place Dorothy would go back to. It is not just about moving back home when your life falls apart but how you pick yourself up. Imogene returns to her passion. She dusts her shoulders off but remains true to herself and her family.