Directed by new comer Matt Spicer, Ingrid Goes West is perhaps one of the most knowing film of its genre. This brilliantly put together and genuinely engaging dark comedy knows more about its subject than the average Hollywood blockbuster around, and does a fantastic job in reconciling some of us with the world of social media in the most honest way possible. Spicer and co-writer David Branson Smith offer an impressive screenplay which manages to accurately relay the current social media trends of living one’s life online despite the obvious risks associated with it.
After the death of her mother, Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) finds herself unable to relate to anyone, apart from the people she interacts with on Instagram. Obsessed with constantly checking her smartphone and angered by what she perceived as a snub, the young woman is sent into a frenzy when she realises that someone whom she considered as a friend has failed to invite her to her wedding. Things come to ahead when Ingrid does something unforgivable which rightly lands her into a mental facility.
Fast-forward a few months down the line, Ingrid is out of hospital and back into an empty family home feeling lonelier than ever. However the young woman soon finds a brand new person to obsess about and decides to drop everything and and move to the west coast to befriend the unsuspecting object of her obsession, a social media celebrity called Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). Armed with the few thousand dollars left to her by her mother, Ingrid uses the cash to buy a brand new life and slowly manages to weasel her way into Taylor perfect Californian life.
With a brilliantly observed and hugely knowing screenplay, Spicer and Branson manage to get the tone just right. Solemn in part, and laugh out loud at other occasions, Ingrid Goes West knows exactly who its audience is likely to be and manages to cleverly avoid repeating the same mistakes the majority of mainstream Hollywood directors tend to make whilst addressing these kinds of subjects. Both Plaza and Olson are genuinely impressive as the two main leads, while Billy Magnussen as Taylor’s drug fiend brother Nicky brings a new meaning to the word detestable.
Ingrid Goes West is not only a brilliant portrayal of a modern problem, but it also manages to hold up a mirror to its audience directly. Because let’s face it, who here can’t relate to obsessively checking the reaction to their own online boasting at one time or another. A thoroughly enjoyable comedy, which is at times way too close to home.
Director: Matt Spicer
Writers: David Branson Smith, Matt Spicer
Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr.
Ingrid Goes West is out Friday 17th of November