Director: Matt Spicer
Run Time: 1h 38m
[eye roll emoji] [middle finger emoji] [smiling sh*t emoji] [unimpressed emoji] #wtf #refund #hashtag
Hello, World. Meet Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza). [hand-wave emoji] She’s an emotionally and mentally unstable Instagram stalker whose mother just passed away. [crying emoji] Don’t feel bad for her though, she uses her inheritance to relocate to Los Angeles in hopes to meet an Insta-celeb who is perfection incarnate: Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen). [princess emoji, #sunshine] Ingrid uses Taylor’s posts to infiltrate her lifestyle and earn a spot in Taylor’s inner-circle. She lies, cheats, steals, and creeps her way in. And of course Taylor is just #blessed to have a new friend. [twinning emoji] Ingrid’s landlord/quasi-boyfriend Dan (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) helps her to achieve #ballastatus. But how long can one keep up appearances for the sake of likes and follows? Ingrid is about to find out.
[vomit emoji] ← FYI: If you’re already tired of this, Ingrid is not for you.
No matter what I say about Ingrid Goes West, it’s a trap.
”This movie is so amazing! How insightful and relevant!”
I’m just as pretentious and phony as the movie itself.
”This movie is total crap. Everyone is an idiot.”
I’m just as pretentious and phon…oh f***ing hell.
Look. I get it. The new celebrity status quo is “Instagram Famous.” How many followers can you get? If your post doesn’t get over X amount of likes then why bother? Your social media presence is directly related to your worth. It’s what people — mostly millennials my age — believe and it is a problem. There are studies on how addiction, depression, and abuse all play a role in self-identity via the Internet. Social media is slowly killing social skills ironically enough, and people are losing their sense of reality. But no matter how centered or accurate Ingrid’s message was, that does NOT make this a good film.
These are some of the most despicable characters I have ever met. Not one had a single redeeming quality. I understand that the point is they’re supposed to be that way; to shed light on all sides of this craze. They’re supposed to be fake and exaggerated. But it wasn’t the least bit interesting or thought-provoking. I was disheartened, yes. But mostly I was infuriated. It was a huge turn off to witness such disgusting behavior and have it be glorified and validated.
And therein lies the biggest problem. None of these characters learn anything. All Ingrid learns is that she can manipulate any situation, no matter how bad it gets. And that exploitation is the way to reach her goals. And her idiot boyfriend — if you want to call him that — lets it happen. Briefly he tries pull Ingrid back to reality but that does not last long when (you guessed it) he finally sees the value in what she can accomplish.
I loathe this movie. And yet I willingly give it 2.0 full stars. Why? Because if nothing else it did evoke enough emotion (albeit, hatred) in me that I seriously considered wiping my phone and trading my iPhone for a flip style. Even if I didn’t go to such extremes, I definitely deleted a whole bunch of apps. And if it wasn’t for this blog — and the fact that I love to write — all but my Facebook would have gone away (because for some reason that’s all anyone’s family ever seems to use). All because after watching Ingrid I wanted so badly to distance myself from these horrible characters. For a movie to create such a strong reaction it had to succeed somewhere and I cannot fault it simply because I hated everyone in it.
Which leads me to my next conundrum: acting. Plaza, Olsen, Jackson… they were all really great at being really terrible. Plaza was believable as an awkward outcast who says and does all the wrong things but somehow makes it acceptable wherever she is. Mostly because that’s how Plaza is in real life. Meanwhile, Olsen looks like she belongs as a fun-loving carefree Cali girl who thinks everything is the best and everyone is her favorite. Wyatt Russell plays Olsen’s husband, and — just like his character — does not believe in social media. Again…very believable. This marks Jackson’s second acting credit ever so I can’t say with too much authority that he was the perfect choice for a Batman-loving, middle-class landlord. But he did do a fine job. It’s just confusing to talk about how great all of them were at being something really similar to their true selves, but also being utterly deplorable.
Even though it was only 98 minutes long, I have no desire to suffer through this film ever again. I discourage anyone and everyone to avoid Ingrid at all costs. If you insist on watching it just for the experience though, keep in mind your phone will probably get a few GB’s lighter after viewing.
Ingrid Goes West is like the opposite of She’s All That. Instead of the geek being invited by the popular kids for a social stunt, the geek infiltrates the popular kids for a social stunt. Except in Ingrid no one has a deeper layer to their personality.