Though Laggies is ultimately harmless, it fails to stand apart from other rom-coms and coming of age stories in any significant way. Director Lynn Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister ) has paired with first-time writer Andrea Seigel and put a spin on the typically male oriented plot of a “man-child” by following the capricious and immature Megan (Keira Knightley, trying very hard not to let her accent shine through) as she has a mild quarter-life crisis. She meets the rebellious teen Annika (an annoying name, played by the equally annoying Chloë Grace Moretz) and instantly bonds with her and her group of friends after buying them booze. She then proceeds to crash at Annika’s house after awkwardly avoiding her brand new fiancé (Mark Webber) post-proposal, much to the chagrin of Annika’s wry single father, Craig (Sam Rockwell).
The biggest fault with Laggies is the writing. Though Megan is realistically flawed, certain aspects about her character just don’t add up. She is aimless in life, unsure of herself and any type of career path. She frequents her parents’ house to spend her days binge-watching T.V. and evading responsibilities. And yet, she’s apparently dated the same guy since high school. Seems to be incongruous with her flighty nature. So after 10+ years, he finally proposes, and only then does she question her life choices in an attempt to change her situation. And by change her situation, I mean shack up with a teenager and fall in love with a single dad she has known for literally one week. Meanwhile, her fiancé thinks she’s out of town at a self-help seminar. She comes home, now apparently ready for her elopement, but then (surprise, surprise) decides she needs to move on from her fiancé, because she’s found love with Craig.
Laggies could have potentially been redeemed with a more realistic ending. Megan could have decided to be alone and focus on herself, her career, her priorities. But, of course, Craig reciprocates her love (because true love only takes a week) and everything wraps up nice and neat. Forget about the whole storyline where Annika attempts to reunite with her estranged mom who abandoned her family. We are given one scene where they bond over the lingerie her mom gives her (which is super awkward, but presented as completely normal), and that seems to be adequate catharsis for Annika’s character. Laggies, while entertaining enough and upbeat in spirit, is as mild and unfulfilling as they come. It may hold your attention until the end, but you’ll likely leave feeling disappointed.
Laggies opens today in Philly area theaters.
Author: Catherine Haas
Catherine Haas is a native Philadelphian who received her master’s in film history from Columbia University. She is a freelance film programmer, writer, and an avid pug enthusiast.