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Girl Most Likely

The story goes that Kristen Wiig was interested in actress-writer Michelle Morgan’s script for this comedy before Bridesmaids was made, and that it was only the phenomenal and unexpected success of that film that gave her the clout to get Imogene (as it was originally titled) green-lit. Of course, Girl Most Likely is a substantially smaller affair, coming from an independent distributor that will be lucky to get it in theaters in a few dozen cities prior to cable and DVD. And I can’t help but wonder, cynic that I am, if there isn’t a bit of guilt here. The characters Wiig plays in the two films are so similar that it’s hard not to consider that she may have been influenced in writing Bridesmaids by Morgan’s script. On the other hand, it’s just as likely that both films rely on the same clichés.

Wiig here plays Imogene, a girl from a white trash background who yearns to be a successful playwright. Having blown her big break but still sporting the inflated ego that came with it, she loses her boyfriend and job in short order and is forced to move back in with her mother (Annette Bening) in Atlantic City.

If the modestly amusing Girl Most Likely has a virtue, aside from Wiig’s usual willingness to throw herself into a part, it’s the sheer accumulation of familiar material: It doesn’t stay in any one place long enough to annoy you with its borrowings. Around the point where you start to suspect that Christopher Fitzgerald’s part as Imogene’s homebound brother was probably written with Zach Galifianakis in mind, the movie moves over to Darren Criss as the kind of inevitable love interest who only exists in comedies like this (a Yale grad who works in a Backstreet Boys cover band). On the other hand, anything that does strike your fancy is likely to disappoint: Any sparks that might be struck by Bening as the mother Imogene wants to forget are abandoned for Bob Balaban as—well, I don’t want to spoil something the script considers a surprise.

Watch the trailer for Girl Most Likely

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