There is such a thing as getting a little too comfortable in your life and every once in a while a shakeup can do us some good. “Laggies” doesn’t exactly broach any new ground but it is an entertaining comedic romp about our 1/3rd life crisis woes that we all have to muddle through at one point or another in our lives.
Megan (Keira Knightley) is 28 and for the most part pretty comfortable in her general state of nothingness with her fairly inert lifestyle. However all that changes when she reaches a state of existential crisis and realizes that she is squarely in adulthood with no career prospects, no particular motivation to pursue any and no one to relate to, including her high school boyfriend (Mark Webber). When he proposes, it gets even worse as Megan panics and escapes to hid out with a new friend, 16-year-old Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz) who she met when buying beer for her and Annika’s world-weary single dad (Sam Rockwell).
While it isn’t the smartest thing that director Lynn Shelton has ever done, “Laggies” is a fun little comedic yarn that won’t exactly stay with you but you’ll have a darn good time while you are in the middle of it all.
Director Lynn Shelton slides into her standard mode of characters at moments of introspection in their lives and is a solid storyteller as it moves with the ease and occasionally hilarity of some of her other films. She usually is making a statement or at least delivering an interesting message about the nature of relationships but this is more of a straight up comedic romp as Knightley’s slacker character. In many ways the movie is also a little more structured and “studio” polished then some of her other feature efforts as the script by first time screenwriter Andrea Seigel doesn’t quite have the natural feel that is typical of Shelton’s directorial efforts. However her knack for getting some unexpectedly strong performances out of her actors continues here as a big star is performing at a high level as she finds her niche in the worlds where comedy and drama get to overlap just a bit.
Keira Knightley maximizes her pouty charm and we believe her as Megan who just isn’t sure if she is fine or if the world has just passed her by and just never noticed until now. She’s an obvious stunning beauty but as she discovers her comedic timing playing frumpy it works for her and allows her to play some pretty interesting roles and bring them some genuine depth as she is the most relatable when she plays charmingly flawed. Chloe Moretz is a great foil for her both emotionally and comedically and proves once again then she is capable beyond her years as an actress. She can play fragile teen and take us along a path of evolution while still going through these changes in her life as well. The consistently underrated Sam Rockwell is great as Annika’s eccentric dad who is looking for as much of an excuse to reboot his life and Knightley’s Megan is and they have great chemistry together as kindred spirits trying to find something to make them happy and give themselves purpose.
Ultimately, “Laggies” isn’t the kind of film that demands an audience, but if you are in the need for a naturally toned comedy with some pretty darn good performances then this should fit the bill and then some as it gives us something we can but into and relate with that only asks us as an audience to go along for the ride.
3 out of 5 stars.
“Laggies” opens exclusively at the Cineplex Yonge & Dundas today here in Toronto before expanding across the country.