Laggies – Lynn Shelton, 2014, 15
Netflix rates it: 4.5/5
I rate it: 4/5
Laggies follows twenty-eight- year-old Megan (Keira Knightley) as she comes to the realisation that she’s just not ready for any of the responsibilities expected of someone her age; spinning a sign advertising her Dad’s business is about all she can manage to do with her time. With both marriage and godparent-hood looming on the horizon, Knightley’s character takes some time out from her adult life and trades in her long-term, responsible friends for some teenagers she meets outside a supermarket. After helping teenager Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz), Megan temporarily moves in with her and her father Craig (Sam Rockwell), all the while lying to her fiancé about her whereabouts.
The concept of an adult longing to be young and carefree again is not unchartered territory for filmmakers, which makes it even more impressive that director Lynn Shelton has managed to produce such a refreshing and clever coming-of- age (slightly later than usual coming-of- age, mind you!) story. Considering many films based around adults dodging responsibility and taking an easy, carefree path focus on men, Laggies approaches the issue from a different gender’s perspective, which is a fresh twist on a well-documented topic. Megan is a believable character, with her indecisiveness and reluctance to grow up being realistic and entertaining. The way she relates so well to both teenager Annika and her Dad explicitly shows the way in which she is torn between the two age groups, at a sort of in-between stage of growing up.
The casting is pretty much spot on, with Moretz and Knightley perfectly complementing one another with their similar outlooks on life set against obvious age differences. Rockwell and Knightley have undeniable chemistry, capturing the awkward stage of the characters starting to like one another but not quite acting on it, in a fun and captivating way. Further impressive performances come from the other teens Megan starts hanging out with – Kaitlyn Dever brings a bitingly witty angle to a stereotypical teen with her portrayal of Misty, Annika’s best friend, and Dylan Arnold provides his character Patrick with an emotional authenticity as he deals with his parents’ divorce.
The character development is one of the most interesting things about the film. When it reaches its conclusion, Megan might not have made many steps towards legitimate employment or found her calling in life, but she has grown up a bit and stopped living in the past. With the few gems of wisdom she passes along to Annika, the audience can see that she’s realizing things for herself for the first time thanks to the teen, which is great to watch as you can actually see the character development happening.
Overall, Laggies is not a film with something new to say, but the way in which it plays out gives it something fresh. With great casting being one of its main strengths, this one’s for those of you who don’t want something too heavy, as the light-hearted nature of the film is where much of its charm originates. The varying ages of the characters makes it relatable for those of all ages, and the entertaining performances from the cast really make Laggies one to watch.
Credit for featured photo: http://www.nola.com/movies/index.ssf/2014/11/laggies_movie_review_keira_kni.html